South Fork Crooked Riparian Restoration Project May 3-6


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.”


Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls




The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius

Organizer: Jefferson Jacobs

Start Date: 5/3/2018

End Date: 5/6/2018

Region: Central Oregon

Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 5

Maximum Group Size: 20 participants

About the place

The South Fork of the Crooked River, has its source just above the South Fork Crooked River Wilderness Study Area (WSA). After the river carves through the canyon in the WSA it passes through a patchwork of BLM lands and private ranches before reaching the main stem of the Crooked River. The South Fork has been the historic home to anadromous fish, and has even been the site of successful redband reintroduction efforts in recent years. However, due to irrigation withdrawals and being almost denuded of riparian deciduous woody vegetation, the river’s water temperatures have risen and habitat quality has plummeted.

About the stewardship work

Through a multi-pronged approach with private landowners, federal land managers, and ONDA, the situation will become significantly improved in the upper stretches of the river.  ONDA is working to seek Wilderness protection for the WSA, as well as improved grazing practices within the river corridor portion of the WSA which is a designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern.  In addition, ONDA has engaged with a private landowner who owns a large section of river frontage which borders the Wilderness Study Area.  The landowner has removed all grazing from this sizable property (the “Jake Place”), and has partnered with ONDA to help with this important restoration effort.  This trip will focus on a large-scale multi-year effort to completely revegetate the several miles of riparian habitat within the private land.

The main objective of this trip is to plant about about 2,000 willow and cottonwood slips. All of these plants will be protected by exclosures (fence) to keep deer, elk and beaver from damaging them until they can sustain the pressure.  New this year is the fact that we will be working in areas where land has been “irrigated” by the construction of Beaver Dam Analogues in 2016.  No experience is necessary: We will teach you everything you need to know to work safely and ensure a high chance of survival for the plants.  There is ample opportunity to work at your own pace and on aspects that work best with your physical capabilities.

View the map.

Trip timeline

  • Thursday, May 3, 5 p.m.:  Meet at the Jake Place on the South Fork of the Crooked River.  This allows time for setting up camp, getting dinner, and a quick orientation about the plan for the coming day.  Access road is dirt, but easily passable for a Subaru type vehicle, or even an adventurous sedan.
  • Friday, May 4, 8 a.m.:  A full day of planting at the work site, a short walk from camp.
  • Saturday, May 5, 8 a.m.:  A full day of planting at the work site, a short walk from camp.
  • Sunday, May 6, 8AM:  For those folks who are interested, I’d be happy to lead a morning walk. Folks are also welcome to explore a bit on their own before we all head home.


The landowner has a great camping area of scattered junipers along the river where we can spread out.  However, there are really no particular improvements other than a fire pit and some tables.  ONDA will provide some additional amenities such as shade/rain tarps and extra chairs.  The access road is an un-maintained dirt road, but it is not too much for a Subaru, or even a regular sedan driven carefully (in good weather).  You will be able to park your vehicle at the central gathering spot/kitchen area of the camp, and your tent won’t be more than a minute or two away.


Level 3

The difficulty rating for this trip is slightly higher than other typical planting trips due to the fact that there is a high volume of sticks to get in the ground, and most of the work involves either bending over, or being on hands and knees.  However, as always, everyone is encouraged to work at their own pace; and there are always a variety of different tasks of different intensity levels to choose from to best suit each individual’s interests and abilities.  Other than that, this is comfy car camping, and there will still be the opportunity to pace ourselves, rest, and take turns.

Trip highlights and challenges:

  • The satisfaction of making a large, relatively instantaneous, impact to a great area that I am sure you will love.
  • Getting the chance to learn a lot about the ecological history of the area.
  • The challenge of getting a lot of plants in the ground in a short period of time.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food and camping gear, as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this trip. Rubber knee-boots are a good choice too though for wetter days.  Participants should be prepared with clothing layers, food and water to spend the day away from camp to conduct the work.  We recommend bringing your own work gloves to provide a comfortable fit. But it is not required.  We recommend that each person bring 3 to 5 gallons of drinking water for the trip, since none is available on site.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide the gear for the work (Including work gloves if you don’t have a pair), excellent guidance in the field, and a few group camping items to make things more comfortable (chairs, tables, dish-washing bins, campfire materials, shade/rain tarp, etc.)  We also provide hot water at morning and evening mealtimes to help expedite meal prep, and espresso coffee in the morning.


An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip.

Apply Now

You only need to fill this form out once per year and can join additional trips this year by emailing the trip leader directly. You will receive a confirmation email within 10 working days of submitting your form. The confirmation email will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the “waitlist.”

Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the waitlist.

Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, carpooling options, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.