McDermitt Creek Lithium Mine Site Visit

Bryan Andresen

This trip is full and accepting volunteers for the waitlist.


Chad Brown on Fly Fishing

Chad Brown on Fly Fishing


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


Reid Williams, 2021 Conservationist of the Year

Reid Williams, 2021 Conservationist of the Year

How far are you willing to hike for conservation? Reid Williams offered to put in more than 20 miles a day, by himself, walking and monitoring fence lines on Beatys Butte. And that was on top of weekly visits to the ONDA office, where he is always eager to help with extra projects. In acknowledgment of his willingness and helpful spirit, ONDA named him our 2021 Conservationist of the Year.

Organizer: Anne White & Karly Foster

Date and Time: June 6 – June 9, 2023

Place:  McDermitt Creek and McDermitt Caldera

Difficulty Rating:  Level 3: Challenging

Maximum Group Size: 10 participants

About the place

This project takes place on the traditional lands of the Northern Paiute and Shoshone people whose descendants are part of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Burns Paiute Tribe, Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Many Indigenous peoples live in Oregon’s high desert region today, including members of the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute), the Klamath Tribes (Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin) and the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe.

This trip will provide an opportunity to visit the northern extent of the McDermitt Caldera in the McDermitt Creek watershed. A multinational company conducting lithium exploration throughout the area poses great threats to streams occupied by the federally threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and healthy sagebrush habitat hosting some of the densest populations of imperiled greater sage-grouse.

About the stewardship work

The purpose of this project is to document resources that may be threatened by a potential McDermitt Creek lithium mine. The primary focus of the trip will be documenting the landscape where overland routes are proposed before disturbance. Additional documentation of flora, fauna, geologic and other resources in the area will also be included.

Shannon Phifer   Website

Trip timeline

  • Tuesday, June 6, 4-7 pm: We will meet at a primitive campsite in the McDermitt Caldera.
  • Wednesday-Thursday, June 7-8, 8 am-4 pm: A full day of monitoring activities at assigned locations documenting the intact landscape and flora and fauna in the area.
  • Friday, June 9, 8 am: After breakfast, we will pack up camp and head home.

Camp or Stay in Town

We will be car camping on undeveloped public land. Please be prepared for primitive camping; you will need to bring your own water for the duration of the trip. ONDA will provide a pop-up toilet system.


Level 3

The physical demands of this trip are moderate. Work involves driving on maintained and unmaintained roads and hiking for up to five miles a day on uneven ground in remote areas with limited cell reception and no shade.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food, water and camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy hiking boots and durable clothing are recommended for this trip. Each volunteer will need a smartphone/tablet device capable of taking geolocated photos.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide the instruction, camping toilet and excellent guidance in the field.


An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip.

Apply Now

You will receive a confirmation e-mail within two weeks of submitting your form. The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the “wait list.”

Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the waitlist.

Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.