Oregon Desert Land Trust

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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.


Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

With 10,000 acres of undulating terrain, secluded canyons and spectacular vantages of the John Day Country, Spring Basin is magnificent to explore This public treasure, forever protected as Wilderness, offers a profusion of desert wildflowers in the spring and year-round recreational opportunities for hikers, horseback

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The Land Between: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region

The Land Between: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region


Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

“Protecting public land is part of my spiritual being. It’s central to my identity to be in wilderness and to see it protected.” Durlin is proud to protect public lands for future generations, saying, “The highlight of my childhood was our family’s weekend outdoor trips. I look forward to my grandchildren having similar experiences outside in their lifetimes, and it wouldn’t be possible without ONDA.”

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.