Denny Jones Ranch Restoration #3

fact

Connecting Trails

Connecting Trails

The Oregon Desert Trail ties into two National Recreation Trails: the Fremont National Recreation Trail and Desert Trail.

fact

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

Bounded by the Cascade Mountains to the west and the Blue Mountains to the north, Oregon’s high desert covers approximately 24,000 square miles. Annual rainfall in the high desert varies from 5 to 14 inches. The average elevation is 4,000 feet; at 9,733 feet, the summit of Steens Mountain is the highest point in Oregon’s high desert. The terrain of the high desert was mostly formed by a series of lava flows that occurred between 30 and 10 million years ago.

Sources: The Oregon Encyclopedia; Wikipedia  

voices

Scott Bowler, Portland-based ONDA member

Scott Bowler, Portland-based ONDA member

The desert speaks for itself, but very softly. I support ONDA to promote and enable discovery of the amazing beauty and recreational opportunities of the high desert by much broader groups of people; and most especially to protect forever the full and diverse landscape of the Owyhee Canyonlands, a place without parallel or equal in our country.”

Organizer: Ben Gordon

Start Date: 10/14/2019

End Date: 10/17/2019

Region: Malheur River Basin

Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 5

Maximum Group Size: 12 participants

About the place

The Burns Paiute Tribe acquired the Denny Jones Ranch near Juntura, Oregon in 2000. This property consists of 6,385 acres of meadow, wetland, and sagebrush steppe habitats along the Malheur River. The Tribe is managing the property to improve critical habitat for fish and wildlife populations, control/eradicate weed populations, improve water quality, and preserve cultural resources for tribal members.

The Burns Paiute Natural Resource Department’s preliminary goals for the property are:

  • restore the riparian vegetative corridor
  • restore fish passage and in-stream habitat
  • convert degraded rangeland to productive wildlife habitat
  • improve irrigation efficiency and meadowland hay productivity and
  • develop and preserve ranch infrastructure.

ONDA has agreed to partner with the Tribe to accomplish important restoration work that supports their objectives over the next four years.

 

About the stewardship work

You will work with ONDA and Burns Paiute staff to conduct two days of preparing existing weed mats and planting hawthorn, elderberry, chokecherry and cottonwood trees into the cleared mats. If time allows, we may attempt a weed mat pull to liberate mature trees and allow them to sucker out.

We typically head to the work site at 8 a.m. and stop work by 4 p.m. in order to leave time in the afternoon to clean-up, relax, and cook a well-deserved dinner. No previous planting experience is needed to attend this trip. ONDA and Burns Paiute staff will provide all instruction and necessary tools to do the job. All that is required is a love of the high desert, a big smile and a willingness to learn.

Trip Timeline

  • Monday, October 14, 5 p.m. We will meet at our campsite on the ranch. Volunteers will be able to drive right into camp.
  • Tuesday, October 15: After breakfast, we will carpool to the worksite on the Malheur River to begin our first day of prepping weed mats and planting. Volunteers should plan to be out all day and be prepared for a full day of walking, kneeling and doing physical work in weather that could range from cold and wet to hot and dry.
  • Wednesday, October 16: After breakfast, we will carpool to the worksite on the Malheur River to begin our second day of prepping mats and planting. Volunteers should plan to be out all day and be prepared for a full day of walking, kneeling and doing physical work in weather that could range from cold and wet to hot and dry.
  • Friday, October 17: After breakfast the group will be free to head home or spend some additional time exploring the expansive property that we will be working on.

Camp

We will be car camping in an open meadow near a ranch house with access to running water and bathroom facilities. Volunteers should plan to bring all necessary camping equipment to spend three nights outside in what could be overnight temperatures as cold as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Difficulty

Level 3

The work will require walking approximately two miles each day, kneeling down and digging holes for plants, and carrying a daypack with food, water and ample clothing to stay warm and dry in variable conditions.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food and camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip (don’t forget your camp chair!). ONDA will bring water, but it is a good idea to supplement our supply with a few gallons from home. In the event of sunny and hot weather, please bring up to four liters of water capacity for the day, and consider an electrolyte replacement drink or mix to help you stay hydrated. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots, long pants, a long sleeve shirt (a lightweight sun shirt is a great option), and eye protection are required for this trip (sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses are suitable eye protection). Participants should be prepared to be away from camp all day and bring a daypack for lunch, snacks, and water.

Gear Provided

ONDA will provide tools for the work, work gloves, and sunscreen. ONDA will bring some group camping equipment (shade tent, tables for cooking, and wash bins for kitchen cleanup), potable water, and expert leadership.

Registration

An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip. Check the box next to each trip you would like to attend. You only need to fill this form out once per year.

 Apply Now

What happens next?

You will receive a confirmation email within 10 working days of submitting your form. The confirmation email will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the “waitlist.”

Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the waitlist.

Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, carpooling options, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.