Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

Rick Samco

success

Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Our quest to protect the Oregon Badlands

Located just 15 miles east of Bend, Oregon Badlands is a 30,000-acre wilderness area filled with fascinating lava flows and ancient juniper trees Arriving in the Badlands, so named for its rugged and harsh terrain, can feel like stepping

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listen

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

listen

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

California bighorn sheep

Wildlife Monitoring Opportunity

For this effort, independent stewards will collect important data about 72 different strategically chosen species throughout the northern Basin and Range ecosystem, to fill a gap in observations in this important region east of the Cascade Mountains.

Fremont National Recreation Trail

ONDA launched an “adopt-a-mile” effort covering 38 miles where the Oregon Desert Trail and Fremont National Recreation Trail overlap. A few volunteers were able to start their work in the short window between snow melt and the start of the heartbreaking Bootleg Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest in early July. Now that the forest has reopened to the public, ONDA is eager to get volunteers back out to this section of trail to perform much needed maintenance work.

Steens Mountain Wilderness Trails

Fall is a spectacular time to visit Steens Mountain, where ONDA is also inviting volunteers to “adopt-a-mile” of trail to monitor and maintain. In addition to performing light trail-work, volunteers are using a new Recreation Impact Monitoring System application developed in partnership with Bureau of Land Management staff to catalog and inventory habitat or recreation management needs Recreation planners can access the data that volunteers collect in real-time and adjust maintenance plans accordingly.

Alvord Desert

This iconic Wilderness Study Area in the rain-shadow of Steens Mountain saw unprecedented use in 2020, largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the trash accumulation and impacts on the surrounding landscape reached critical levels. ONDA’s independent stewards are documenting impacts using the Recreation Impact Monitoring System application and dispersing fire rings, picking up trash, monitoring for negative wildlife interactions, and handing out wag bags and responsible recreation information.

We welcome you to join us on any of the above projects. If you have already filled out our volunteer interest form this year, please email monitoring@onda.org with the project you are interested in. If you have not yet filled out our volunteer interest form, apply now and, in the project preference field, type in “Alvord, “Steens” “Fremont” or “wildlife monitoring.”

Volunteer today!

Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

As golden aspen leaves and frosty mornings mark the arrival of fall in Oregon’s high desert, welcomed rains are bringing fire danger down and allowing volunteers to resume work on needed monitoring and restoration projects throughout desert public lands. If you’re craving an adventure to experience the beauty of Oregon’s high desert in the...

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Streamside Story: Cody Hess

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: June 3, 2021  |  Category: Profiles “While I was out there, I didn’t see a single person, didn’t hear an airplane or truck. There was just pronghorn, and solitude really. It was the best wilderness experience I’ve had.” During summer 2015, Cody Hess took two months off from his...

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Protected: Alder Springs Project

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Where-To:
Seeking Spring in Central Oregon

Spring is fast approaching in the high desert. As the daylight hours grow longer, signs of the shifting season can be seen popping up across the region. The desert will soon be met with a succession of wildflower blooms, starting with tiny yellow goldfields in March, white-petaled sand lilies in April and pale pink...

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Winter Wildlife Watching

By Scott Bowler What’s there to do in the desert in the winter? Watch wildlife! In many ways, especially at lower elevations, winter’s cold weather can provide some great hiking and exploring opportunities and it’s definitely a great time to be on the lookout for the rich array of wildlife species that inhabit Oregon’s...

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Signs of Winter

by Scott Bowler Winter may seem harsh, and it is indeed a difficult time to live outdoors, but remember that snow on the ground is actually good insulation. It blocks the wind, thus protecting animals from the most serious cold, and keeping temperatures warm enough underneath to allow activity much of the winter. Many...

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Healthy Escapism

“A Year in Oregon’s High Desert” offers escapism you can feel good about Feeling stressed? A dose of natural beauty could help.   Studies have shown that spending time in a natural setting, or even viewing scenes of nature, can lower stress level, heart rate and blood pressure and make people feel more trusting and...

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What Wild & Scenic
Looks Like

Did you know that, in addition to rivers, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act can also protect creeks, streams and lakes?  Wild and Scenic desert waters take many forms and every drop of desert water plays an important role in the desert ecosystem. From mighty salmon-bearing rivers, like the North Fork John Day, to...

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Hole in the Ground

Hike to Hole in the Ground, one of author William L. Sullivan’s favorite high desert destinations! This weird, half-mile-wide pit really looks like a meteorite crater, but it is in fact a volcanic maar, a crater left when a bubble of magma rose to the surface, hit ground water, and exploded. Explore the crater on an...

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Protect Desert Rivers

Senator Ron Wyden is looking to add more Wild & Scenic Rivers to Oregon’s legacy of protected waterways and you have the chance to conserve 825 miles of desert rivers with your gift today.  Stand up for Whychus Creek, the Chewaucan River, and the North Fork John Day River. Stand up for free-flowing streams,...

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