Beatys Butte Fence Mapping

Jeremy Austin


Aaron Tani, Sage Society Member

Aaron Tani, Sage Society Member

“It feels good to support ONDA on a monthly basis, because I know they never stop supporting our public lands. ONDA works to help make our lands a better place for the future, and I feel like I’m a part of that every month with my support.”


Wildflower Poetry Reading

Wildflower Poetry Reading


Volunteer Accomplishment in Hart-Sheldon

Volunteer Accomplishment in Hart-Sheldon

About the place

Beatys Butte is an integral part of the “land between” Hart and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in BLM’s Lakeview District south-central Oregon. The allotment is 575,495 acres in total, 506,985 acres of which are public land. Almost 80% of the allotment overlaps the Beaty Butte Sagebrush Focal Area, one of the six most important areas identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the long-term survival of the Greater sage-grouse. The allotment is a variable landscape, ranging from low rolling hills, to steep rocky buttes, to broad valleys and dry lakebeds. The vegetation is predominantly sagebrush-grasslands common to the northern Great Basin and annual precipitation averages around nine inches.

About the Independent Stewards Work

Note that Independent Stewards must attend a training with ONDA before conducting any Independent Stewards projects. This project will be completed independent of ONDA staff, and will require navigation and field skills above and beyond those required to attend a staff-led stewardship trip.

Once you have communicated with Lisa about your plans and obtained all maps and directions, you will set out for Beatys Butte to map fence line. This project involves driving, sometimes in rough 4wd conditions and hiking off trail in rocky, uneven terrain for several miles. 35 miles of fence has been mapped by previous ONDA volunteers. There is about 150-175 miles of remaining unmapped fence on Beatys Butte. You will be using mapping software on a tablet device to catalog fence presence, construction and condition. These maps will be used to inform future ONDA fence retrofit and removal projects.


The best time to conduct fence mapping in the high desert is in the spring and fall.

  • Once you have signed up for this project, Lisa will contact you with project details and request your anticipated trip dates.
  • Be sure to thoroughly read through project details, safety precautions and directions before your trip and ask questions. This is a remote project site and you will likely not have access to internet or cell coverage once you are in the field. Research your project area and driving directions on Google Earth.
  • Request any further materials, details or directions you need. Confirm your itinerary with Lisa.
  • Take off on your trip and conduct fence monitoring.
  • Report to Lisa when you return.
  • Send monitoring data and reports.
  • Relax and know that you have made a difference for Oregon’s high desert.


You are on your own out there. Be aware that much of Oregon’s high desert is remote and it may be a long drive between gas stations and access to water and facilities. Refer to your Independent Stewards training and plan ahead and prepare.


Level 3

The terrain may be uneven, steep, and you may be at high altitude. There will be plenty of opportunities for pacing yourself, however, you will need to be comfortable hiking at least 4 miles each day.

Participant responsibilities

Volunteers should be prepared to be fully self-supported. Participants are responsible for their own food, camping gear, water as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this project.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide maps and directions for the project work, as well as any materials you request. Otherwise, you will need to be fully independent.


An ONDA registration application and medical form is encouraged for this trip.

 Apply Now

This form is separate from ONDA’s stewardship trip form. Once you apply, Lisa will contact you to confirm your attendance in and Independent Stewards training and with information about the Independent Stewards project.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Lisa.