Oregon Desert Land Trust

Sage Brown   Website

Introducing the Oregon Desert Land Trust.

Oregon Natural Desert Association has launched a new initiative to preserve the wild character of Oregon’s high desert.


Sage Steppes

Sage Steppes




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


Helen Harbin, ONDA Board Member

Helen Harbin, ONDA Board Member

“I connect with Oregon’s high desert through my feet, my eyes, my sense of smell, and all the things I hear. Getting out there is a whole body experience.” Supporting ONDA, Helen says, not only connects her with wild landscapes, but is also a good investment. “I felt like if I gave them $20, they might squeeze $23 out of it.”

Meeting a Critical Need

Oregon’s high desert holds many tracts of private land that are critical for wildlife habitat and for public access to the rich public lands they adjoin. Until now, without a land trust exclusively dedicated to Oregon’s high desert, there were few options for landowners who wished to conserve the natural values of their land holdings. The Oregon Desert Land Trust was created to fill this gap in service.

Conservation Priorities

Oregon Desert Land Trust evaluates and prioritizes lands in the region through the lens of how parcels would support conservation objectives. Key factors we consider are:
* proximity to existing and potential protected areas of public land
* presence of springs, wet meadows, and streams
* importance to wildlife, especially Greater sage-grouse

How a parcel can support increased public lands access and cultural preservation are also considered in our evaluation.

Conservation Goals

Established at the close of 2017, the land trust soon acquired its first 160-acre parcel and is working with several interested landowners to evaluate other potential acquisitions. The organization expects to conserve nearly 2,500 acres of land and be in negotiations on another 2,500 acres by the end of 2018.

For more information about this effort or if you are interested in getting involved, contact Brent Fenty at (971) 350-9458 or bfenty@oregondesertlandtrust.org.