Badlands Wilderness Recreation Monitoring

Greg Burke   Website


Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls


Young Desert Horned Lizard

Young Desert Horned Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos


Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Our quest to protect the Oregon Badlands

Located just 15 miles east of Bend, Oregon Badlands is a 30,000-acre wilderness area filled with fascinating lava flows and ancient juniper trees Arriving in the Badlands, so named for its rugged and harsh terrain, can feel like stepping

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Organizer: Stewardship Team

Project Timeline: 1/01/2024 through 12/31/2024

Region: Central Oregon Backcountry

Difficulty Rating: Level 1-3 depending on what trail you choose, how far you go and what season you go out in

Volunteers Needed: No limit

About the place

ONDA’s conservation work takes place on the traditional lands of the Northern Paiute, Wasco, Warm Springs, Bannock and Shoshone people, as well as ceded lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and on lands currently managed by the Burns Paiute Tribe and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Many Indigenous peoples live in Oregon’s high desert region today, including members of the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute), the Klamath Tribes (Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin) and the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe.

Located just 15 miles east of Bend, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness is a 30,000-acre area containing fascinating lava flows and ancient junipers. This area was designated as wilderness in 2009, and was named for its harsh terrain and fantastic rock formations. Within this landscape, one can find incredible displays of desert wildflowers, dry river canyons, castle-like rock formations, and Native American pictographs.

About the project

The Badlands has increased in popularity over the past few years as more and more people discover the restorative nature of walking in this wilderness area, so close to the population center of Bend.

Your work on this project will help ONDA and the BLM collect important information on visitor use, conditions of signage, camping impacts, vehicle trespass and more, and help to expand the capacity of the Prineville Bureau of Land Management to monitor and respond to use issues in a timely manner.

This project is funded by a Deschutes Trails Coalition Stewardship Grant.

Greg Burke

This is a recreation impact monitoring and maintenance project

  • Included in the monitoring and maintenance project:
    1. Use the RIMS (Recreation Monitoring Impact System) app on your smartphone to identify and record information on visitor use, trail and signage conditions, campsites and fire ring locations and more.
    2. Pick up trash.
    3. Brush out vehicle (bike or car) trespass tracks – after documenting the impacts.
    4. Remove, disperse, and camouflage identified campsite impacts and fire rings.


This project will involve multiple volunteers during the year. The Badlands Wilderness is accessible year-round. You can visit the area any time during the year, and make as many visits as you like. We ask volunteers who sign up for this project to make at least one monitoring trip in 2024 for a minimum of four hours.


Level 2

This trip will require hiking and moderate physical work, but because the project is self-directed you can hike/monitor as your body and time allows.


An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this project.

Project Details

All the information you will need to know about this independent project will be emailed to you after your registration is complete. Each project page has extensive information about access, technology, tools, maps and more. Please be prepared to spend 1-2 hours reviewing this information prior to heading out on your project, the good news is that time spent reviewing and preparing for your trip all counts towards your volunteer hours.

Apply now