Dark Night Skies in the High Desert

Grant Tandy

voices

Helen Harbin, ONDA Board Member

Helen Harbin, ONDA Board Member

“I connect with Oregon’s high desert through my feet, my eyes, my sense of smell, and all the things I hear. Getting out there is a whole body experience.” Supporting ONDA, Helen says, not only connects her with wild landscapes, but is also a good investment. “I felt like if I gave them $20, they might squeeze $23 out of it.”

watch

Stewardship Fence Building Timelapse

Stewardship Fence Building Timelapse

fact

Bobcat

Bobcat

Found only in North America, where it is the most common wildcat, the bobcat takes its common name from its stubby, or “bobbed,” tail. The cats range in length from two to four feet and weigh 14 to 29 pounds. Bobcats mainly hunt rabbits and hares, but they will also eat rodents, birds, bats, and even adult deer.

Latin name: Lynx rufus fasciatus

 

“When I started putting this story map together, I didn’t know how serious the issue of light pollution was. I do a lot of reading about other environmental issues but had heard very little about this one,” she explained. “The most interesting part of the issue is how easy it is to solve. Other types of pollution are going to take much more science and personal sacrifice to combat, but reducing light pollution is simple to do and takes little effort, but it has such a large impact on improving the lives of every creature on this planet.”

For more on what you can do in eastern Oregon or even in your community and home to help combat light pollution, view Rachel’s story map and action items at the end.

“Ultimately I hope that others like me will consider what they can do in their own communities and homes to combat light pollution. I also hope that it gives people even more perspective into how important it is for us to conserve the deserts of southeastern Oregon,” she said.

As for Rachel, eastern Oregon continues to hold a fascination. She spent last summer doing fieldwork in the Vale and Burns Bureau of Land Management districts and plans to spend another field season this year in the sagebrush steppe doing vegetation sampling. Long term, she plans to get her master’s degree in Rangeland Ecology with the goal of doing research or conservation work in Oregon’s high desert landscapes.