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High Desert Speaker Series Wraps with New Look at Old Favorite: the John Day

ONDA Stewardship Director Ben Gordon will reveal some of the most spectacular (and overlooked) areas of Oregon's signature Wild & Scenic River

The Oregon Natural Desert Association's High Desert Speaker Series concludes in Portland on April 25th at 7 p.m. with the talk, Hidden Wonders of the John Day, by ONDA Stewardship Director Ben Gordon.
High Desert Speaker Series Wraps with New Look at Old Favorite: the John Day

Ben Gordon was ONDA's John Day Basin program coordinator for several years before becoming its stewardship director.

Apr 07, 2016

The Oregon Natural Desert Association’s High Desert Speaker Series concludes in Portland on April 25 at 7 p.m. with the talk, Hidden Wonders of the John Day, by ONDA Stewardship Director Ben Gordon.

From Sutton Mountain to Spring Basin and the lower John Day, the John Day River Basin offers amazing places to hike, birdwatch, camp and fish within an easy distance from Portland. Gordon’s talk, based upon intimate knowledge of the area, will explore what gems lie in this area and what makes these lands worth protecting for future generations.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 1125 SW Park. The event is free and open to the public, and guests are asked to reserve their seat using Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/BenGordonHDSSPDX.

Registration is now open for the presentation. The series’ earlier talks all sold out in advance. Guests are encouraged to reserve their seats now.

"The John Day is such a seemingly well-known river,” says Gordon. “Few people know its most remarkable places because they’re off the beaten path. I’m looking forward to sharing what makes the John Day special to me.”

A first for Portland, the series builds on a highly successful debut in Bend last year, bringing a whole new slate of talks to the west side.

“After the runaway success of last year’s series, we knew we wanted to expand the program for 2016,” said Brent Fenty, ONDA executive director. “There’s so much in the desert to explore – from wildflowers to human history to where to hike and fish – and it’s clear people are excited to learn more about what’s sometimes a lesser-known area of the state.”

Gordon knows the area better than most. He was the John Day Basin program coordinator with ONDA for three years before becoming its stewardship director​​ in 2015. He has extensive experience in conservation biology and forest ecology, and holds a degree in Anthropology from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Gordon’s particular appreciation is for the high desert’s abundant biodiversity. When not working, he can be found exploring Central Oregon’s wild places on foot, skis, and bike.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association is a Bend-based nonprofit organization with an office in Portland that has focused on protecting, defending and restoring Oregon’s high desert for almost 30 years. It works to protect stunning, ecologically significant areas in the Central Oregon Backcountry, John Day River Basin, Greater Hart-Sheldon Region and the Owyhee Canyonlands. Learn more at ONDA.org or about the event at ONDA.org/HighDesertSeries.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638
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