Independent Stewards

Sage Brown   Website

Oregon Natural Desert Association’s Independent Stewards program offers volunteers a self-directed option for promoting a healthy high desert in addition to our structured option of guided stewardship trips. ONDA provides participants with resources and specific assignments; they learn new skills and complete critical tasks while giving their high desert adventures an elevated purpose.

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Karen Garber, volunteer since 2017

Karen Garber, volunteer since 2017

So glad we got to do a stewardship trip with ONDA this summer, and now I’m more inspired than ever to start hiking the Oregon Desert Trail in bits and pieces.

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Swallowtail

Swallowtail

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

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Connecting Trails

Connecting Trails

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

An Independent Steward’s work

Independent Stewards assist ONDA with important projects while enjoying the high desert on their own. Stewards receive guidance from ONDA, but are primarily self-directed.

Wildlands monitoring

Eastern Oregon contains over 2.5 million acres of Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs). Each WSA is managed by the BLM. Independent Stewards help ensure these places maintain their Wilderness Characteristics by signing up to monitor the condition out in the field. Volunteers will explore within and around the WSA to document impacts they see while they are out.

Why it’s helpful

While the number of stewardship trips we host has continually grown over the years, there is always more work to be done on Oregon’s vast high desert public lands. Independent stewards are critical partners in getting more stewardship work in the high desert done, and perhaps even bringing new stewardship needs to light as they explore Oregon’s dry side with a trained eye.

How do I get started?

ONDA is revamping the Independent Stewardship Program for the 2020 season; stay tuned for more details or contact Renee Patrick for more information.

Sage Brown   Website

Sage Brown   Website

Sage Brown   Website

ONDA

Michael O'Casey