What Wilderness Means

Derek Staab

A Video Challenge

Do you want to explore some little-known gems in Oregon’s high desert? Are you excited to share your experience with friends, colleagues, family and ONDA’s community? Can you produce a 2-minute video?

Yes to all of the above? Then we have a perfect volunteer project for you! This fall, we want to send three individuals, or small teams, out to explore some of the coolest Wilderness Study Areas in Oregon’s high desert.

What we’re looking for
  • Upbeat videos up to two minutes in length featuring select wild places in Oregon, and perhaps your personal connection to that place.
  • Individuals or teams that can supply their own video recording equipment and have enough editing know-how to create a rough cut put to music by October 31, 2018.
What you’ll get
  • One-on-one consultation sessions with ONDA staff before and after your video shoot.
  • Helpful maps and goodies to keep you fueled up while shooting.
  • $100 to fill up your gas tank, rent equipment or get useful new gear.

You don’t need to be a professional videographer to apply. ONDA staff will work with you to give shape to your story and to put the final edits and polish on your piece. You will want to get to know your featured location well enough to share its highlights with others, but exhaustive research is not required.

Check out “A Trip to Abert Rim Wilderness Study Area” for a sample of the kind of video we’re looking for.

ONDA will share the videos created by the selected individuals/teams on our website, our YouTube channel and other social media profiles to help people learn about some of the most interesting, remote and beautiful wild places in Oregon’s high desert.

This is a chance to explore vulnerable places, capture their significance and help protect them. Give your eastern Oregon adventures a deeper purpose!

To be considered for this video challenge, please complete the short questionnaire here or below. Deadline extended to September 3, in honor of the anniversary of the Wilderness Act!


Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

“To me, it’s a thru-hike in an isolated place that promotes a conversation in land management, ethics and usage. Hiking across a vast and remote landscape and having a random and chance encounter with cowboys and hunters to discuss how ‘all of us’ should treat the land, how we all have a responsibility, no matter our political leanings, really showed me the pulse of the people in rural areas, especially here out west.”


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.”




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

SAMPLE VIDEO: A Trip to the Abert Rim Wilderness Study Area

In the high desert of southeastern Oregon, you'll find millions of acres of wild public lands. Take a trip to Abert Rim in this short video shot and produced by ONDA independent steward Chris Schmokel. We think you'll be inspired to pay this place a visit, and maybe you'll even be inspired to shoot your own short video.

Watch Now

Pitch us

What Does Wilderness Mean to You?

Tell us why we should pick you for ONDA's video challenge.

Where would you like to go?
Who are you? Why do you want to visit this wild place?
Show us your stuff! Provide links to any short videos you've already produced or samples showing the creativity you'd bring to this video project.