High Desert Academy

Vince Ready

Welcome to our digital event community

ONDA launched this digital events series in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. When everyone was following directives to stay close to home, ONDA brought the desert straight to the people. The High Desert Academy series includes stunning tours of high desert highlights, informative workshops that will teach you new advocacy skills, and tips to have a safe, enjoyable desert adventure whenever it’s advisable to do so.

All recording are available for streaming below. Thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoy these recordings.
Have questions? Email our team and we’ll do our best to answer!


Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

“Protecting public land is part of my spiritual being. It’s central to my identity to be in wilderness and to see it protected.” Durlin is proud to protect public lands for future generations, saying, “The highlight of my childhood was our family’s weekend outdoor trips. I look forward to my grandchildren having similar experiences outside in their lifetimes, and it wouldn’t be possible without ONDA.”




Found only in North America, where it is the most common wildcat, the bobcat takes its common name from its stubby, or “bobbed,” tail. The cats range in length from two to four feet and weigh 14 to 29 pounds. Bobcats mainly hunt rabbits and hares, but they will also eat rodents, birds, bats, and even adult deer.

Latin name: Lynx rufus fasciatus



Stewardship Fence Building Timelapse

Stewardship Fence Building Timelapse

The High Desert Wonders

This three-part series will take you on a tour of the spectacular highlights of Oregon’s high desert and connect you with timely conservation opportunities in these areas.

Steens Mountain: Wilderness Haven

Learn more about the crown jewel of Oregon’s high desert. Steens Mountain gained Wilderness protection 20 years ago, but the story doesn’t stop there. Discover places to explore and hear about the ongoing efforts to secure permanent conservation outcomes in this rugged landscape.
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Hart, Sheldon and the Land Between

The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region includes Hart Mountain and several million acres of the surrounding public lands. The region boasts huge blocks of extensively connected wilderness-quality lands that support the region’s rich wildlife populations. Learn more about the abundant conservation and recreation opportunities in this vast area.
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The Wild Owyhee

Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands is one of the wildest places in the country. Follow along on an exploration of this incomparable region, its awe-inspiring natural landscapes, rich culture and history, key wildlife habitats and recreation hubs. You’ll learn about timely conservation initiatives you can support to ensure that the Owyhee stays wild, forever.
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Where Conservation Meets Recreation

We know you’re all scheming your next trip to Oregon’s high desert. Join our team to learn about our best planning tips and tricks so that you can utilize this downtime to plan the perfect adventure.

Desert Hiking Tips & Trips

Do you have concerns about water, navigation, camping, animals, desert driving and more? We’ll answer your questions and offer ideas for your next adventure in Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands and beyond.
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Multi-Sport Adventures on the Oregon Desert Trail

The Oregon Desert Trail is not just made for hiking. Did you know there are sections that you can bike, paddle, horseback ride, and even ski in the winter? Join us as we dive into different options for “quiet recreation” on the public lands throughout Oregon’s high desert.
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Boots, Bikes, and Boats in Eastern Oregon

Go east on this virtual tour for a new desert adventure and a sense of solitude. You’ll learn about recreation and conservation opportunities in and around the Steens Mountain Wilderness, Fremont-Winema National Forest and the John Day River Basin.
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How to be a Better Desert Advocate

We hear that self-improvement is all the rage! Follow along for this three-part series to build your knowledge and skills base to be an even stronger desert advocate.

How to Protect Desert Rivers

Right now, we have a remarkable opportunity to secure Wild and Scenic River status for our beloved desert rivers – if we all speak up! You’ll learn how to write an effective letter to the editor, use your social media to rally your river-loving friends, and more!
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How to Build a Beaver Dam

Beaver are among nature’s most impressive ecosystem engineers. Learn how you can lend them a hand – and then let them take over – to create healthier and more resilient desert habitat.
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How to Use Your Voice For Public Lands

Whenever major changes to how our public lands are managed are in the works, you – the public! – get a chance to comment on those proposals. Learn how to use your voice to speak up for conservation in the desert, just in time for an important comment period opening this summer.
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