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.

voices

Jane Heisler, Sage Society Member

Jane Heisler, Sage Society Member

I love to travel and I love the desert! Supporting ONDA monthly allows me to hit the road without forgetting Oregon’s high desert—even when I’m not there.

watch

Julie Weikel on Wilderness

Julie Weikel on Wilderness

success

Oregon’s first desert wilderness

Oregon’s first desert wilderness

Steens Mountain: Oregon’s first desert wilderness

On October 30, 2000, Congress passed the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act, finishing the work that had taken ONDA and the other members of the Steens-Alvord Coalition decades  

Steens Mountain is a land of startling contrasts: dramatic u-shaped

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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.

Other monitoring projects help our conservation, stewardship, and legal work.

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?

Fill out our monitoring interest form and we will be in touch when opportunities that match your interests arise.

Please contact Renee Patrick with any questions.

Sage Brown   Website

Sage Brown   Website

Sage Brown   Website

ONDA

Michael O'Casey