Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

Rick Samco

voices

Cregg Large, member since 2009

Cregg Large, member since 2009

“I came to Oregon 12 years ago from Texas. Texas, for all its size, has very little public land. Coming to Oregon has made me realize the special gift we as Americans have in our public lands. Volunteering with an organization like ONDA is my way of reciprocating for this gift. Through restoration efforts, I feel we are helping leave a better place than we found it. Through advocating for protection for public lands, we safeguard migration routes for animals and keep the land where it belongs: with the public.”

success

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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voices

Sarah Graham, Sage Sustainers Member

Sarah Graham, Sage Sustainers Member

“I contribute to ONDA monthly because it adds up to a larger annual gift than what I’d be able to comfortably afford if I were to do a simple one-time donation annually. I’m able to give more to ONDA this way and have greater impact which is important to me, and my dog Polly.”

California bighorn sheep

Wildlife Monitoring Opportunity

For this effort, independent stewards will collect important data about 72 different strategically chosen species throughout the northern Basin and Range ecosystem, to fill a gap in observations in this important region east of the Cascade Mountains.

Fremont National Recreation Trail

ONDA launched an “adopt-a-mile” effort covering 38 miles where the Oregon Desert Trail and Fremont National Recreation Trail overlap. A few volunteers were able to start their work in the short window between snow melt and the start of the heartbreaking Bootleg Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest in early July. Now that the forest has reopened to the public, ONDA is eager to get volunteers back out to this section of trail to perform much needed maintenance work.

Steens Mountain Wilderness Trails

Fall is a spectacular time to visit Steens Mountain, where ONDA is also inviting volunteers to “adopt-a-mile” of trail to monitor and maintain. In addition to performing light trail-work, volunteers are using a new Recreation Impact Monitoring System application developed in partnership with Bureau of Land Management staff to catalog and inventory habitat or recreation management needs Recreation planners can access the data that volunteers collect in real-time and adjust maintenance plans accordingly.

Alvord Desert

This iconic Wilderness Study Area in the rain-shadow of Steens Mountain saw unprecedented use in 2020, largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the trash accumulation and impacts on the surrounding landscape reached critical levels. ONDA’s independent stewards are documenting impacts using the Recreation Impact Monitoring System application and dispersing fire rings, picking up trash, monitoring for negative wildlife interactions, and handing out wag bags and responsible recreation information.

We welcome you to join us on any of the above projects. If you have already filled out our volunteer interest form this year, please email monitoring@onda.org with the project you are interested in. If you have not yet filled out our volunteer interest form, apply now and, in the project preference field, type in “Alvord, “Steens” “Fremont” or “wildlife monitoring.”

Volunteer today!

Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

As golden aspen leaves and frosty mornings mark the arrival of fall in Oregon’s high desert, welcomed rains are bringing fire danger down and allowing volunteers to resume work on needed monitoring and restoration projects throughout desert public lands. If you’re craving an adventure to experience the beauty of Oregon’s high desert in the...

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“A diverse and magical place”

Tribal Stewards reflect on the 2021 season In early July, we introduced you to the 2021 Tribal Stewards crew. Now that they have wrapped up their five-week session of restoration and conservation projects on Oregon’s desert lands and adjacent watersheds, we wanted to share their accomplishments and highlights from the season. After starting their...

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Helping Fish, Addressing Fire and Drought

Author: Beth Macinko  |  Published: June 21, 2021  |  Categories: Look Back, Notes from the Field ONDA volunteers plant thousands of willow and repair fences in the Malheur watershed The native bull trout and redband trout in the Malheur River drainage, located south of Prairie City in the Malheur National Forest, can look forward...

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Before and After Stewardship

The difference that ONDA volunteers can make in just a few hours or days of working together is pretty incredible. Here are a few before and after pictures to give you a taste and you’ll find even more photos in our post-trip photo albums. As we return to project locations season after season and...

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Trip of a Lifetime

ONDA member Robin Kaai recently took part in a stewardship trip in the John Day River Basin. Here she offers you her recap. Dear fellow ONDA members, When registration for ONDA’s John Day River fence pull trip opened in February, I responded immediately … but this popular trip fills quickly. Waitlisted! Luckily for me, within...

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Giving Wild Animals Freedom to Roam

Volunteers remove obsolete fence from more than 90,000 acres in the Steens Mountain Wilderness The 97,229 acre cow-free portion of the Steens Mountain Wilderness Area in southeastern Oregon is now completely free of obsolete barbed wire fence, thanks to the work of Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) volunteers who removed the last two miles...

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Service at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

Carol Savonen is a member of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a group formed initially by older women to champion America’s public lands. Here, she shares the experience the Broads had on a recent trip to the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. This past June, 25 Oregon members of the Great Old Broads for...

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