Oregon Natural Desert Association is the only group dedicated exclusively to securing the highest level of protection for wild lands and waters in Oregon’s high desert.
Wild lands can be protected from harmful development and other impacts when they are designated as National Parks, National Monuments, or wilderness areas. Wild rivers can be designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The highest level of protection available for public lands — even stronger than National Park status — is designation as wilderness.
Oregon Natural Desert Association has successfully led campaigns that established the first, and only, wilderness areas in Oregon’s high desert: Steens Mountain Wilderness, Oregon Badlands Wilderness and Spring Basin Wilderness.
Even with the future of those remarkable landscapes secured, our work is just beginning. Only 1 percent of Oregon’s desert public lands are protected as Wilderness. And, statewide, only 2% of Oregon’s rivers are protected as Wild and Scenic.
Many exceptional public lands and waters in Oregon’s sagebrush steppe — upwards of eight million acres of desert land and over a thousand miles of desert waterways — are in great need of conservation action.