What Wild & Scenic
Looks Like

Greg Burke   Website

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 seasonal streams high in the Pueblo Mountains, the hundreds of waterways nominated for protection in Senator Wyden’s Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation highlight both the diversity and importance of each type of desert waterway.


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


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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Mountain Streams

High up on desert peaks like Steens Mountain, streams like Cottonwood Creek arise as a trickle that can transform with spring snowmelt into a raging torrent. As ONDA member Julie Weikel fantastically described, “for brief weeks or even just days each spring, the jubilant celebrating streams move boulders, rip out tree roots, and raise a little canyon hell.” These small but mighty creeks sustain populations of rare Lahontan cutthroat trout and wildflower-filled meadows that provide critical habitat for sage-grouse and other desert species.

Mark Darnell   Website

[bctt tweet=”Were you also thrilled to see @RonWyden and @SenJeffMerkley introduce the River Democracy Act? Say thank you here: https://onda.org/take-action/desert-rivers-2021/” username=”theoregondesert”]

Canyon-carving Creeks

Boasting stunning scenery and exposing millenia of stunning geology and rocky spires, powerful waterways, like Succor Creek, are a refuge for sensitive wildlife such as California bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and redband trout. Many desert canyons are also sacred and traditional sites for the Northern Paiute people and other indigenous communities who continue to live and gather food and medicine in Oregon’s high desert.

Sean Bagshaw   Website

[bctt tweet=”How exciting that Oregon could become the national leader in Wild and Scenic Rivers! Thanks, @RonWyden and @SenJeffMerkley! http://bit.ly/WSRpressrelease” via=”no”]

Salmon-bearing Rivers

Salmon and steelhead journey hundreds of miles deep into northeastern Oregon to spawn in the North Fork John Day and its tributaries. Stretching nearly 40 miles through spectacular scenery, the last unprotected stretch of the North Fork John Day also provides wild water and rare solitude for boaters willing to make the trek to enjoy its remote canyonlands.

Greg Burke   Website

[bctt tweet=”I’m so glad to see desert rivers included in @RonWyden and @SenJeffMerkley’s Wild and Scenic rivers proposal. Way to go, Senators! http://bit.ly/proposedWSRMap” via=”no”]

Desert creeks

From nesting songbirds to sensitive native trout, desert creeks are vital to life in an otherwise arid landscape. Guano Creek, on the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, is one example of these ribbons of green bursting with life, each one an oases in the Sagebrush Sea.

Jim Davis