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Owyhee Canyonlands

The expansive Owyhee Canyonlands of Oregon encompass the Owyhee River and areas such as Leslie Gulch, Jordan Craters and the Upper West Little Owyhee River. This landscape is home to wildlife such as bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope and Greater sage-grouse. The Oregon Natural Desert Association is dedicated to protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Welcome to the largest intact, unprotected

stretch of the American West


Rafting the Owyhee
Rafters on the Owyhee River navigate both rapids and calm stretches.
Photo: Leon Werdinger
A wild, vibrant landscape

In far eastern Oregon lies wild, rugged country carved by the Owyhee River and lined with steep canyons. These enigmatic canyonlands captivate any visitor and challenge the outdoor enthusiast.

At 2.5 million acres of wild lands and hundreds of miles of Wild & Scenic rivers, Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands represents the largest conservation opportunity remaining in the lower 48 states.

The Owyhee Canyonlands is home to the one of the nation's largest herds of California bighorn sheep as well as pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, seven species of bats, Greater sage-grouse and songbirds, redband trout, longnose snakes, and pygmy rabbits. Innumerable archaeological and historical sites are hidden in its canyons.

Broad support for permanent protection

A broad coalition of more than 35,000 from Oregon and beyond, more than 150 businesses, veterans, sportsmen and others are working to permanently protect this remote, wild area. Permanent protection could be achieved with wilderness, national conservation area or national monument designations. Learn more about the Owyhee Canyonlands Conservation Proposal on the website.

A recent poll found that 70 percent of Oregonians support permanent protection for the Owyhee. Sixty-six percent of those in the Second Congressional District, where the Owyhee is located, support permanent protection.

Independent studies also affirm that permanent protection is merited for the area. Conservation Science Partners concluded that the Owyhee Canyonlands is one of the most intact unprotected areas of the West, and a study commissioned by the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association found that recreation dollars contribute significantly to the local economy.

Support our work to permanently protect the Owyhee Canyonlands -- sign the petition today and use #WildForTheOwyhee on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Interested in learning more about the spectacular region? Read the New York Times article, "Bivoucking in Oregon's Back of Beyond," that highlights the adventure in and value of this place. Then, visit the Owyhee Canyonlands website for more information and ways to get involved. While you're there, be sure to sign up for the email list.

Interested in visiting? Check out our Owyhee Canyonlands Visitors Guide. Also, visit the Owyhee Canyonlands website.


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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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