Greater Hart-Sheldon Landscape
Oregon's Wildlife Mecca
The Greater Hart-Sheldon Landscape, 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 encompasses both the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge and Sheldon Wildlife Refuge, and is home to hundreds of fish and wildlife species. Most notably, visitors come to see pronghorn antelope that reside throughout the region and migrate to and from Hart Mt. and Sheldon.
Because this area is vital to the natural history of Oregon’s desert lands, ONDA has worked for decades to restore, protect, and connect the landscape.
Click HERE to view a map of the Hart-Sheldon Landscape
Getting the Fences Out: For over twenty years ONDA volunteers have been coming to the Hart Mountain Refuge in southeastern Oregon to help remove unneeded barbed-wire fence which can create barriers for pronghorn and other wildlife. This effort, in coordination with other groups, has resulted in nearly 300 miles of fence being removed from Hart Mountain Refuge.
Partners: ONDA is now partnering with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) 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 future of unneeded barbed-wire fences on these refuges is looking grim, as year after year we come closer to removing all the interior fences with big smiles on our faces and sweat on our brows.Both the Hart and Sheldon Refuges were originally designated to protect the summer and winter ranges of the pronghorn. However, the habitat quality and connectivity between the two refuges has never been intensively studied. To fill this information gap, ONDA worked with the Oregon Biodiversity Information Center and US Fish & Wildlife Service to develop a spatial Resource Vulnerability Assessment for both Hart and Sheldon Refuges and the surrounding lands. All this information will help ONDA and partners identify key places for restoration and conservation.
Thinking about the future: The Hart-Sheldon landscape is recognized as a potential place for wildlife resiliency in Great Basin due to the elevation shifts, wildlife diversity, and habitat integrity. ONDA worked with NatureServe, a leader in climate change modeling, to test management and climate scenarios so that we can identify high priority connectivity corridors to ensure resiliency for native wildlife.