Notes From the Field

Sam Hartman

Welcome!

ONDA stewardship in the time of COVID looks quite different this year, but through our Independent Stewards program you are helping us accomplish lots of impactful work on the public lands that make the high desert of eastern Oregon so incredible.

Please check back on this page throughout the year as we highlight the work happening on the ground through the photos, stories, and accomplishments from all of you, our intrepid, hardworking, and passionate volunteers.


 

fact

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

Bounded by the Cascade Mountains to the west and the Blue Mountains to the north, Oregon’s high desert covers approximately 24,000 square miles. Annual rainfall in the high desert varies from 5 to 14 inches. The average elevation is 4,000 feet; at 9,733 feet, the summit of Steens Mountain is the highest point in Oregon’s high desert. The terrain of the high desert was mostly formed by a series of lava flows that occurred between 30 and 10 million years ago.

Sources: The Oregon Encyclopedia; Wikipedia  

fact

Badger

Badger

Badgers are generally nocturnal, but, in remote areas with no human encroachment, they are routinely observed foraging during the day. They prefer open areas with grasslands, which can include parklands, farms, and treeless areas with crumbly soil and a supply of rodent prey.

Badgers are born blind, furred, and helpless. Their eyes open at four to six weeks.

Latin name: Taxidea taxus

listen

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Your work in May:

As we head into June our numbers for the season are ramping up!. **
Your volunteer contributions will be counted when you fill out the report following your trip, and will make you eligible for the raffle.

83 volunteers have contributed to the Stewardship program so far this year and
1,749 hours have gone towards a wide array of projects.

In your words:

"I loved learning about stream health. I have a new appreciation for how extremes affect the entire ecosystem" - Margaret Smith

"I saw four beavers next to the beaver dam analogues in Summit Creek!" - Emily Freilich

"We had such a good experience doing the trail clean up today in the Badlands." - JoAnna Eisler with staff from the Element Hotel in Bend

Photo by JoAnna Eisler


 

Each month all volunteers who contributed to an ONDA project will be entered to win these fabulous prizes from some of our business members. Your completed project report is an automatic entry for this monthly drawing. Fill out your report now.

Drawings will occur during the first week of each month, and include goodies from ONDA, Backporch Coffee, Miir, TOAKS Titanium, and Backpackers Pantry.


 

Show off the good work you are doing across the desert with our expanded Independent Stewards projects. You can:

  1. Email a photo or two of you completing the project to monitoring@onda.org, or
  2. Use the #independentONDA hashtag on your Instagram photos and they will be pulled into this page below!

And, if you are not already following ONDA’s Instagram, head to @theoregondesert to join in the photo fun.

Show us your #independentONDA

In May we ventured down to SE Oregon to work on an independent steward project with theoregondesert. Beatys Butte and surrounding areas provide critical winter and migratory habitat for pronghorn antelope, sage grouse and other native wildlife. Existing barbed wire fencing can entangle sage grouse and pose a barrier to the daily movement and seasonal migration of antelope. By mapping and documenting existing barbed wire fence, we were able to support ONDA’s efforts to potentially remove obsolete fencing and/or retrofit other fencing to mitigate these hazards. #independentONDA #voluntourism #oregonhighdesert ...

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#independentONDA and the team at Element Bend are proud to announce the Badlands Rock Trailhead is litter free. And we may have even had a little fun during the trail clean up too! ...

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Thanks to @sourceweekly for covering ONDA's Independent Stewards program. We have a ton of opportunities for folks to help monitor and steward the Oregon Desert Trail (including stuff you can do on your hike).

Sign up to become a volunteer and add some purpose to your next adventure in the high desert!

Link to register in the profile 👆
...

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Looking for a match?

Tell ONDA your interests and skills and we will put you to work completing meaningful desert stewardship.

Sign up to become an ONDA Independent Steward and you'll be pitching in on a massive effort to restore, monitor and advocate for the desert wildest and most beloved places. In 2021, we aim to:

🌲Plant over 12,000 native trees and shrubs along desert streams like Hay Creek and the South Fork Crooked River
🛶Inventory proposed wild and scenic rivers from Steens Mountain to the Owyhee Canyonlands
👀Monitor wildlands and wildlife habitat on Hart Mountain, the Alvord Desert and other critical landscapes
🗺️ Survey 100 miles of the oregonddeserttrail

This work will take place across millions of acres. Can we count on you to help? #independentONDA

Image: Hiker gazing out over Lake Abert. Credit: David Hanson
...

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All of you out there who want to hike and give back at the same time, we have an ambitious plan to steward almost 100 miles of trail this year through ONDA's new Independent Stewards program, so we need you!

You will be hiking and doing light trail work on the Oregon Desert Trail and beyond (primarily along the Fremont National Recreation Trail and Steens Mountain trails).

These projects will come online in June, but apply now and indicate your interest. We are busy building out all the project details, but if you already know you want to go, block off some time on your calendar and get ready to hike and make a difference on the Oregon Desert Trail!

☝ link in the profile
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Longing to hear a meadowlark’s song? This sign of spring will soon be heard across Oregon’s high desert, and we hope you’ll be there to hear it.

This year, we invite you to become an ONDA Independent Steward.

Fill out the application form today (link in bio) and we will give you all the tools to complete meaningful work while you’re out exploring Oregon’s impressively wild high desert.

Image: Western meadowlark, singing. Credit: Greg Burke

#independentONDA
...

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Desert daydreams?
We can help with that. 😉

Sign up to become an ONDA Independent Steward. You tell us your interests and skills and we will put you to work completing meaningful desert stewardship.

With ONDA’s group stewardship trips still on hold due to the pandemic, we’ll be counting on Independent Stewards to restore, monitor and advocate for the places we love.

In 2021, we are aiming to:

🌲Plant over 12,000 native trees and shrubs along desert streams like Hay Creek and the South Fork Crooked River
🛶Inventory proposed wild and scenic rivers from Steens Mountain to the Owyhee Canyonlands
👀Monitor wildlands and wildlife habitat on Hart Mountain, the Alvord Desert and other critical landscapes

This work will take place across millions of acres. Can we count on you to help? #independentONDA

Image: Hiker gazing out over Lake Abert. Credit: David Hanson
...

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Road walk

#independentONDA
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These layers. This scale. That place.
1.1 million acres. Now proposed to be protected permanently.
Learn more, link in bio
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Dipped in gold ...

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Text your support

Have you joined our Text to Take Action program? Put the power to advocate for the high desert in your hands. You’ll receive relevant notices when it’s time to speak up for your favorite wild places.

Simply text “ONDA” to 52886 and answer a few quick questions. When opportunities arise to advocate for Oregon’s high desert, you’ll be first to know when and how to take action.

Wear your support

Looking to sport some ONDA swag next time you head out to the desert? You’re in luck, we’ve designed some ONDA volunteer shirts.

You can check out the designs here; $6 from each shirt sold will go back to ONDA, and you will be able to show that you “Give a Dam!”

An early morning for ISP volunteer Karen Lillebo

Jim Davis

Staff from the Element Hotel in Bend did a trash pickup project at the Badlands Wilderness