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Muleshoe Creek Riparian Restoration (Spring)

Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 5 April 20 (Thursday PM) to April 23 (Sunday AM) ONDA has a new opportunity to collaborate with a new private conservation lands owner in part of a project increasing the "Climate Resiliency" of tributaries of the John Day. Come join us for the first of two trips where we are helping restore habitat on a mile of protected stream. We will be using some novel new planting techniques and caging some of the vegetation already coming up in the area to temporarily protect it from deer browse.
When Apr 20, 2017 05:00 PM to
Apr 23, 2017 12:00 PM
Where Muleshoe Creek, Grant County
Contact Name
Contact Phone (541) 330-2638
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Muleshoe Creek is a tributary of the upper John Day near Service Creek. The mile-long reach of stream is protected by conservation easements.  Significant restoration work is already underway here: the ranch upstream has conducted significant juniper cutting and the landowner cooperating with us has done juniper work as well as riparian plantings, caging and repaired all the boundary fences.  However, despite significant growth in the riparian vegetation and a positive response of upland vegetation, some gaps still remain in species diversity, and maintaining surface flow throughout the year.  ONDA has been invited to help remedy this situation.

HERE is a map of the approximate area for reference.

Our work on the project in the spring will entail caging cottonwood trees to protect them from deer and elk browse, and planting additional riparian trees (in the form of cut "slips" or sticks).  Work on the fall trip will be similar but will involve planting rooted stock instead of slips.  No experience is necessary: we will teach you everything you need to know to work safely and ensure a high chance of survival for the plants.  There is ample opportunity to work at your own pace and on aspects that work best with your physical capabilities.

Planting Root Stock


  • Getting to help be part of a project that is putting the "finishing touches" on improving an area: lets you see a jump start in the progress of these sorts of restoration projects.
  • Experience the satisfaction of doing work that you can look back at and see a difference: even from Google Earth in a few years!
  • The work will be physically strenuous and potentally wet, and temperatures can fluctuate widely during this time of year.



  • Thursday, April 20th (5PM): We will meet at the worksite in Muleshoe Creek.  Meet the land-owner, set up camp and discuss the plans for the coming day.
  • Friday, April 21st: (8AM): walk the 100 yards or so to where we will start our work for the day.  Be prepared for a day of physical labor, building and placing protective cages around native plants, and doing some creative planting of willows directly into the stream bed.
  • Saturday, April 22nd: Another full day of planting and caging.
  • Sunday, April 23rd: After breakfast, we will break down camp and head home.


We will be car camping Muleshoe Creek itself, within walking distance of the work sites.  This is not a developed/commercial campground (see map link above).


3 out of 5. Weather at this time of year can be cold and rainy or warm and sunny, so folks will need to be adaptable as we will be working rain or shine.  While work will be physical and last all day, there is ample opportunity to rest and pace oneself according to each person's ability.   Click HERE for a description of the trip difficulty rating system.


Participants are responsible for their own food, camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this trip. Participants should be prepared to be away from camp all day each of the work days.


ONDA will provide tools for the work, some group camping equipment (shade tent, tables for cooking, wash bins for kitchen cleanup, a privy, camp chairs, and campfire supplies), expert leadership, and we can teach you all you need to know about riparian restoration! And yes, I will have hot water ready for folks to use at mealtimes, and espresso waiting for folks in the morning.


This trip will be led by ONDA's Stewardship Coordinator, Jefferson Jacobs
Group size is limited to 12 participants.
This trip is offered free of charge.

An ONDA registration application and medical form is required for this trip.
Click HERE for the form.  You only need to fill this form out once per year: You can join additional 2017 trips by e-mailing the trip leader directly.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 working days of submitting the form.  The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full and so your name has been placed on the “wait list”.  Six weeks before the trip starts the trip leader will send out an RSVP e-mail to make sure everyone is still available to participate.  Three weeks before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc.  However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact the trip leader at the e-mail address above.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638

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