Fall 2022 Stewardship Trip Preview

Registration Opens June 1

Do you enjoy fall colors? Crisp days and starry nights? You will love the variety of stewardship opportunities ONDA is offering in the high desert this fall. Read on for a preview of a few of the trips we have planned for this fall, then mark your calendar to sign up on Wednesday, June 1!

And, if you simply can’t wait to volunteer, check out ONDA’s 2022 Stewardship Trips and Projects page to learn more about opportunities open now.




The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius


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


Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

In the Central Oregon Backcountry

South Fork Crooked River

Fence Build Trips - September 19-22 and September 30-October 3

This challenging backpacking trip is part of a large-scale, multi-year effort to improve fish and wildlife habitat throughout the South Fork Crooked River watershed.

Volunteers will backpack 3.5 miles up the river, where they will work to construct a fence to exclude cattle from a future restoration site located in the middle of the South Fork Crooked River Wilderness Study Area. This work will set the stage for passive habitat recovery as grazing pressure is removed, as well as for restoration plantings of native vegetation like willows, dogwood, and cottonwood.

In the John Day River Basin

Ruby Creek

Planting Trip - October 18-21

The goal of this project is to restore the ecological health of critical habitat for salmon and steelhead on the Malheur National Forest, increasing water quality and species diversity. Populations of Middle Columbia River steelhead, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, have experienced significant declines as a result of habitat loss, damage and fragmentation. The upper John Day watershed provides essential habitat for steelhead, as well as other native fish and wildlife, and the restoration actions included in this project are a critical part of their recovery.

This trip will include plantings on Ruby Creek, Bear Creek and Butte Creek, three tributaries of the Middle Fork of the John Day River. Volunteers will be planting willow and dogwood which will help shade and cool streams to support native fish species and provide an important food source for deer, elk and beaver.

In the Greater Hart-Sheldon

Beatys Butte

Fence Retrofit Trip - September 19-22

Beatys Butte lies directly between the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and the expansive public lands in this “land between” are just as crucial to pronghorn as the two refuges. Unfortunately, barbed wire fences throughout this landscape pose risks to pronghorn and other wildlife. Low-flying sage grouse are known to become entangled in standing fence, while pronghorn and other ungulates may be unable to cross fences, which limit both their daily movement and their seasonal migrations.

Volunteers working on this project will help improve pronghorn passage by retrofitting barbed wire fence to wildlife-friendly standards by replacing the barbed bottom wire of the fence with smooth wire so that animals can pass safely underneath the fence.