Kevin Clark

Oregon’s high desert is an arid landscape, defined by the scarcity of water, but that does not mean that this vast landscape is without water. It means that every stream, creek, spring and river matters.

This short documentary takes you to to Lake Abert, the John Day River Basin and the Owyhee Canyonlands and highlights how Oregon Natural Desert Association is preserving the desert’s most precious resource.


Tibetan Monks Visit Sutton Mountain

Tibetan Monks Visit Sutton Mountain


Western Rattlesnake

Western Rattlesnake

Also known as the Great Basin Rattlesnake, these pit vipers have buff-tan coloring and small, oval blotches to blend into their arid surroundings. Small heat-sensing indentations on each side of the snake’s snout detects warm-blooded prey for better striking accuracy in the dark. Source: The Oregon Encyclopedia

Latin name: Crotalus oreganus lutosus


Terry Butler, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Terry Butler, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

“If I have to pick a favorite place in Oregon’s high desert, it would be Sutton Mountain, but I’m excited about all of the Wilderness Study Areas,” says Terry, adding, “Each is a gem to explore, and I hope they all get protection someday… I love the scale of the physical beauty of the desert.”

ESSENTIAL was made possible thanks to the generous donations of several talented creative professionals.

The video footage was provided courtesy of Kevin Clark, Brian J. Clark Productions, Think Wild, James Parsons at Extreme Oregon, and Fine Grain Pictures.

Ben Finley composed the original score. Lauren Gombas created the animations.

Additionally, several members of the ONDA staff contributed to create this piece, with production management by Corinne Handelman, voiceover narration by Hana Sant, editing by Barksdale Brown and direction by Lace Thornberg.