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Greater Hart-Sheldon Region

The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region, a high desert oasis with natural lakes, sagebrush flats and rugged ridgelines, spans over 3 million acres in southeastern Oregon and northern Nevada. This area is home to native species such as pronghorn antelope and Greater sage-grouse.

Pronghorn Family, Greg Burke
Pronghorn antelope are the fastest land mammal in North America. They thrive in the Greater Hart-Sheldon Region.
Photo: Greg Burke

The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region is a natural treasure filled with pronghorn antelope, open space, wildflowers, mountains and canyons, wild horses, and Native American rock art. Located in remote southeastern Oregon and northern Nevada, the region encompasses Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and other large expanses of public land, including Beatys Butte.

Oregon's Wildlife Mecca: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region is one of the best large intact sagebrush-steppe ecosystems left in the West, and as a result wildlife thrives here.  Sagebrush ecosystems are critical to more than 350 species of wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, waterfowl and shorebirds, pikas, pygmy rabbits and Greater sage-grouse. In fact, the region features one of the highest densities of Greater sage-grouse in the U.S.

Interested in visiting? Check out our Greater Hart-Sheldon Region Visitors Guide.

Because this area is vital Oregon desert land, ONDA has worked for decades to restore, protect and connect this landscape.

Last Fence Pull - Jesse Laney
Last Hart Mt. Fence Pull
Photo: Jesse Laney

Stewardship: For over 20 years, ONDA volunteers visited the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge to help remove unneeded barbed-wire fence, which creates barriers for pronghorn and other wildlife. This effort, in coordination with other groups, resulted in nearly 300 miles of fence being removed from the refuge.

Partners: ONDA partnered with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness to dedicate an unprecedented amount of manpower to removing fences from the Sheldon Refuge. In 2011, 140 volunteers from Nevada and Oregon came to the refuge to help pull fence, resulting in over 70 miles of fence being removed. The last of the fence on Sheldon was removed in 2014.

The Hart Mountain and Sheldon refuges were originally designated in the 1930s to protect the summer and winter ranges of the pronghorn. However, they do not protect migratory paths and winter range between the refuges.

Thinking about the future: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region is recognized as a potential place for wildlife resiliency in the Great Basin due to the elevation shifts, wildlife diversity, and habitat integrity. NatureServe, a leader in climate change modeling, tested management and climate scenarios so that we can identify high priority connectivity corridors to ensure resiliency for native wildlife.

Click here to sign a letter supporting wildlife-oriented management of the lands within the Greater Hart-Sheldon Region.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638

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