Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

Rick Samco

voices

Cregg Large, member since 2009

Cregg Large, member since 2009

“I came to Oregon 12 years ago from Texas. Texas, for all its size, has very little public land. Coming to Oregon has made me realize the special gift we as Americans have in our public lands. Volunteering with an organization like ONDA is my way of reciprocating for this gift. Through restoration efforts, I feel we are helping leave a better place than we found it. Through advocating for protection for public lands, we safeguard migration routes for animals and keep the land where it belongs: with the public.”

fact

Young Horny Toad Lizard

Young Horny Toad Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

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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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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Reimagine Your Public Lands

Author: Lace Thornberg  |   Published: July 14, 2021  |  Updated: September 17, 2021 | Category: In the News National Public Lands Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in September. And, in 2021 the federal agency responsible for more than 245 million acres of public land nationwide, including 16 million acres in Oregon...

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Letter to the Editor: Not like the other birds

We received a curious letter recently and wanted to share it with our desert conservation community.  Dear Human News Media, April has arrived and I am cringing because I know what’s coming.  You’ll describe me as a “chicken-sized bird” or even worse, a “football-sized bird,” share a video of my mating dance, and move...

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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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Greater Hart-Sheldon: Sagebrush Stronghold

The “Greater Hart-Sheldon: Sagebrush Stronghold” story map is a science based, user driven exploration of one of the last sagebrush strongholds on the planet. Check out the resources and content below to dive even further into exploring the region, its values and why it deserves permanent protection.

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Recognizing Native American Heritage Month

Desert conservationists, did you know …  That Oregon’s high desert lands and waters are the traditional lands and waters of the Northern Paiute, Wasco, Warm Springs, Klamath, Modoc, Yahooskin, and Shoshone peoples?  That several of ONDA’s major restoration projects take place on lands currently managed by the Burns Paiute Tribe and the Confederated Tribes...

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Greater Hart-Sheldon Films

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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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