Defending wildlands and habitat

Jeremy Austin

Oregon Natural Desert Association’s strategic and effective enforcement of environmental laws has played a critical role in safeguarding Oregon’s desert public lands. We hold federal land management agencies accountable, ensuring that Oregon’s arid lands and waterways receive the protection they deserve.

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John Cunningham, ONDA member and volunteer

John Cunningham, ONDA member and volunteer

Restoration is hard slow work. It takes hold, or it doesn’t, in fits and starts. The immensity of the need can be discouraging, but we must carry on. I am so thankful ONDA carries on.

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Julie Weikel on Wilderness

Julie Weikel on Wilderness

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Nate Wilson-Traisman, member since 2019

Nate Wilson-Traisman, member since 2019

“My greatest hope is that Oregon’s desert continues to gain public lands protections, and is guarded from unsustainable development, so that future generations may benefit from all the region has to offer.

I felt inspired by trips to Oregon’s high desert, and was actively searching for ways to contribute to the protection of these wild places. ONDA stood out as a leader in this respect, and when I’ve had money to contribute, ONDA has been a clear choice.”

Enforcing conservation laws on your behalf

As the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 clearly states:

“The Congress recognizes that each person should enjoy a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.”

Since 2001, we have won or successfully settled more than 85 percent of our federal actions, protecting millions of acres of public land throughout Oregon as a result. 

Visit our Accomplishments page to learn more about ONDA’s significant legal achievements over the years.

Protecting imperiled species and irreplaceable wilderness areas

More than 350 species of plants and animals inhabit Oregon’s high desert, many more than most people realize.

Unfortunately, some of the wildlife native to this region is facing serious threats to survival due to habitat loss caused by a variety of factors, including poorly managed livestock grazing, invasive species, wildfire, and inappropriately sited energy development.

ONDA protects critical habitat, wildlife corridors, and ecosystems to give all species the best chance for survival. We operate under the principle that it does no good to protect a species if that species has nowhere safe to live, and we advocate for the highest level of protection possible for wild lands and waters.

Planning for responsible renewable energy development

ONDA supports responsible renewable energy that is planned smart from the start.

For Oregon, this means guiding projects to low-conflict zones–areas with high potential solar, wind, or geothermal resources that do not contain critical wildlife habitat, wilderness-quality lands, or sensitive cultural resources. We encourage policymakers to advance renewable energy policies that incentivize smart and responsible development.

“Renewable Energy in Oregon” report

Our report provides an overview of the policies, technologies, and issues related to Oregon’s ever-growing energy resource. It contains savvy insights, recommendations for a more efficient and responsible energy future, and useful information on siting, technologies, opportunities, and challenges.

Download the Report

Steens Wind

While ONDA supports renewable energy, we believe some places are not appropriate for any kind of large-scale development. We opposed theSteens Windproject associated with the North Steens Transmission Line proposed by Columbia Energy Developers due to its negative impacts on a congressionally protected area which is home to high priority Greater sage-grouse habitat and part of an important area for raptors.

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