Your responses are in!

Tyson Fisher   Website

Author: Corinne Handelman |  Published: November 11, 2021  |  Category: Look Back

The results of our most recent member survey

This fall, we asked you — ONDA members — what’s most important to you about supporting desert conservation, and we were overwhelmed by your responses. Over 525 of you replied to our latest member survey. Thank you!

Here’s what we learned from your feedback.

Love for Oregon’s desert is what makes this community strong

Your love for Oregon’s high desert is just as vast as this landscape, and the variety of responses explaining why the desert is worth loving reflects the diversity of our community’s perspectives.

“Oregon’s high desert is a rare beautiful place, unspoiled in many areas, and ONDA does a fantastic job in working to protect and preserve it.”

“It’s such a unique part of Oregon: the ecological communities, the history, the vastness. It can feel like another planet. ONDA does incredible work engaging participants in getting to know and stewarding this special place, both at an individual level and at a broader, policy-based scope.”

“I love the expansive desert skies and opportunities for solitude most. The desert is full of hidden surprises!”

Whether you have deep ties to the desert landscape, or appreciate its stark wildness from afar, your love for the land is clear in these responses. If you want to share the beauty of the high desert with your loved ones, consider purchasing a 2022 Wild Desert Calendar for someone who appreciates these desert landscapes.

You think ONDA is effective

This message resonates loud and clear. You think ONDA is an effective conservation group for the desert. In response to our question about why you support ONDA, we saw answers like these time and again.

One member said, “I support ONDA because they have a proven track record of succeeding in their mission and protecting public land.”

Another member shared, “For Oregon’s desert, ONDA is by far the most effective conservation and advocacy organization.”

And, when we asked how you would describe ONDA to a friend or family member, the adjectives that filtered to the top were all variations on a theme: effective, dedicated, committed, active, important, responsible, focused.

One of the simplest responses that we saw from an ONDA member reflected why being effective matters so much to our community, by saying, “I care about desert issues and so do you.”

You know your donations make a difference

You view ONDA’s most important programs as the three pillars of our mission:

  • advocating for protective designations on public lands and waters;
  • restoring habitat for fish, wildlife and plant species; and
  • enforcing bedrock conservation laws and improving public lands policies.

And, you see your gifts as making a significant impact toward making critical conservation progress happen. Without your support, long-term gains toward desert protection aren’t possible. Thank you for your commitment to desert conservation!

When enumerating the reasons to join ONDA’s community of supporters, one member summarized their thoughts by writing, “I love the unique, ancient landscapes and ecosystems, the vastness and solitude. I support ONDA because of their dedication to restoring and preserving the ecology of the region in an inclusive, educational, focused manner.”

If you feel this way, too, consider giving a gift membership to someone in your life who wants to drive desert conservation forward for current and future generations.

Greater sage grouse pose in Oregon's backcountry wildlands.

You are lifelong learners

Many of you love learning more about the high desert, whether you have a deep personal history with these places or are just getting to know them. A majority of you have learned “a great deal” or “a lot” about public land issues during your time as an ONDA member, and there’s a thirst for more.

You shared that you’d most like to learn more about natural and cultural history, and we’ve got a slate of inspiring programs planned for 2022, including the return of our ever-popular High Desert Speaker Series, where we bring in subject area experts and compelling storytellers.

Learning more about stories of desert conservation success also ranked highly, and we will continue to share about “wins” for the desert, like a recent proposal to protect Sutton Mountain as a National Monument.

We take your feedback seriously, and we hope to keep moving the needle on desert conservation with you! As ONDA strives to be even more focused, effective, and inclusive in the coming years, we appreciate your continued commitment to Oregon’s high desert.

Thank you for all that you do!

Do you have other feedback that we missed? Email me with your thoughts today, and thank you for speaking up on behalf of Oregon’s treasured high desert lands.


Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

“I find enjoyment in the peaceful wide open spaces, geology, and rich history of Oregon’s high desert,” says Mary. Reflecting on volunteering, she continues, “If you have the ability and desire, it’s important to do something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be big, because every little bit helps.”


Taylor Goforth, Sage Sustainers member

Taylor Goforth, Sage Sustainers member

“I support ONDA on a monthly basis as a way I can keep in touch with the root of my conservation ethic and allow for their strong advocacy work to keep going. I count on them!”


Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

“ONDA stewardship trips inspire me. I get to learn new things and see new places, and in the process perform important work that improves the wildlife habitat.”