Oregon Natural Desert Association is committed to sustaining and enhancing the health of Oregon’s high desert through stewardship and restoration. While beautiful and pristine in many ways, much of our wild terrain has been negatively impacted by human actions over time. We take a holistic approach to conservation in Oregon’s high desert, pairing intensive on-the-ground stewardship with landscape protection efforts.
Restoring Lands and Waters
ONDA connects people to the special places we work to improve. We work with hundreds of volunteers, students, seasonal field technicians, and nonprofit partners to get great work done. Our trips provide plenty of natural history education and opportunities for exploration.
Restoring Rivers and Streams
The lifeblood of Oregon’s high desert is its waterways, and ONDA pays close attention to the health of our desert rivers and streams. The desert climate is changing and less rain, warmer temperatures, and stronger storms all give urgency to our work. Our aim? Cool, clear, and enduring waters that support fish, wildlife, and human populations.
From planting trees along stream banks to building low-profile structures that mimic beaver dams, each action is part of a thoughtful restoration approach that is guided by the best available science.
Across Oregon’s desert lands, barbed wire fences once used for livestock fragment the landscape. Many of these fences no longer serve a purpose and can harm wildlife. ONDA and partners have removed hundreds of miles of fence from the land. Where barriers are needed, we convert barbed to safer smooth wire. With each fence project we complete, ONDA supports wildlife and restores natural beauty to the land.
We can best care for our desert lands when we’re on the ground observing changes over time. Using a systematic approach pioneered by ONDA, our staff and volunteers evaluate the natural values of our public lands. We document any misuse of these lands and work with land managers to find solutions and we assess the health of desert creatures by coordinating wildlife surveys. In fact, ONDA is so committed to supporting Oregon’s sage-grouse populations, we designed our own scientifically rigorous five-year habitat monitoring project.
We provide all of this information to the agencies that manage these lands to encourage proactive conservation and stewardship.
A Collaborative Approach to Stewardship
Collaboration is a hallmark of ONDA’s stewardship work. ONDA partners with land management agencies, private landowners, and tribal entities to undertake long-term restoration projects on public and private lands in Oregon’s high desert. This approach provides significant, long-lasting benefits to the region’s land, waterways, wildlife, and communities.