Meet the 2020 Alice
Elshoff Award Recipient

voices

Terry Butler, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Terry Butler, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

“If I have to pick a favorite place in Oregon’s high desert, it would be Sutton Mountain, but I’m excited about all of the Wilderness Study Areas,” says Terry, adding, “Each is a gem to explore, and I hope they all get protection someday… I love the scale of the physical beauty of the desert.”

success

Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

With 10,000 acres of undulating terrain, secluded canyons and spectacular vantages of the John Day Country, Spring Basin is magnificent to explore This public treasure, forever protected as Wilderness, offers a profusion of desert wildflowers in the spring and year-round recreational opportunities for hikers, horseback

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watch

Tibetan Monks Visit Sutton Mountain

Tibetan Monks Visit Sutton Mountain

Sage Brown   Website

Sage Brown   Website

Heidi Hagermeier

Over the years, John has built a special connection to landscapes across Oregon’s high desert.

“Every place I go, there are magic moments. That’s what’s addictive. The colors of the Owyhee, the intact grass slopes of Pine Creek, those large open expanses of sagebrush at Hart Mountain, sweet creeks in the Malheur National Forest. There are moments of rapture on each trip for me. That’s the payoff. That’s why I come back,” he mused.

Over time, these moments have given John an enduring, optimistic outlook for the future of these wild, vast landscapes.

ONDA established the Elshoff Award in 2008 to honor individuals who embody ONDA’s conservation values, and to celebrate their significant contributions to protecting Oregon’s desert wilderness.

Upon receiving this honor in 2020, John humbly shared this message, “For me, more than anything else, ONDA provides hope. So much hope.  Hope that sage grouse and antelope, beaver and bull trout and redband, and my beloved salmon, have safe homes and passage through their ancient landscapes. Hope that all birds and bugs and reptiles flourish and thrive in this crowded, changing world.  Hope that intact sagebrush steppes and native grass hillsides and cold running creeks will forever remain resilient and define Oregon’s deserts.

“You, and all the volunteers I share work with, plant hope — every letter written, card signed, lawsuit filed, BDA built, post driven or taken out, bird counted, roadless area mapped, willow planted — is a powerful cry for a better, richer, and diverse future.”

This tremendous effort and yearning for a brighter future unites the ONDA community. We selected John to be the 2020 Alice Elshoff Conservation Award recipient because we share his hope for the future of intact and diverse habitats across the sagebrush sea and appreciate his inspiring contributions to our community.


Meet the 2020 Alice
Elshoff Award Recipient

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