by Jeremy Austin, Policy Manager at Oregon Natural Desert Association
The numbers are in. Oregon’s sage-grouse population essentially remained flat in 2020.
Following years of steep declines, the bird is dwelling at the second-lowest population level ever measured in our state.
For nearly 60 years the scientific community has documented the decline of sage-grouse across its range — a cyclical pattern of population peaks and troughs that has steadily fallen over time. While some amount of fluctuation is normal, the alarming trends observed recently threaten a population crash.
Though the numbers are concerning, this story is not over.
by Mac Lacy, Senior Attorney at Oregon Natural Desert Association
Steens Mountain is an extraordinary place.
Known to the Northern Paiute as Tse’tse’ede, “the Cold One,” the mountain covers an ecologically distinctive, half-million acre landscape replete with specially protected public lands and rivers and a diversity of habitats essential to hundreds of species of fish and wildlife. Twenty years ago, in the Steens Act, Congress designated the first ever Cooperative Management and Protection Area to conserve the mountain for “future and present generations.” …
Skills for Oregon’s High Desert and Beyond
By Scott Bowler, Oregon Natural Desert Association volunteer
“Hey, what’s that cool flower?”
After leading wildflower discovery and identification trips for 40-plus years, I can tell you that people’s most common reaction upon encountering a new flower is: “Oh, cool! What’s that?” They want a name.
In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the key steps to figuring out what that cool flower is, but, first, a word about names.
While a plant’s common name is interesting and can be pretty, it can vary regionally and it’s all too often kind of…
Dear Senator Wyden,
Thank you for your visionary leadership to preserve Oregon’s wild rivers, clean water, and wildlife for the future. I sincerely appreciate this opportunity to help develop legislation to protect my favorite rivers.
More than 6,000 people commented on the Bureau of Land Management’s Draft Resource Management Plan for Southeastern Oregon
This summer, more than 6,000 public lands enthusiasts of all kinds took advantage of a 90-day public comment period to send the Bureau of Land Management feedback on their Draft Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan Amendment.
This resource management plan covers 4.6 million acres in the Owyhee Canyonlands, and will guide how these landscapes area managed for decades to come. As the Capitol Press recently reported, the bureau’s Vale District Manager Don Gonzalez.has …
It’s time to speak up for Oregon’s vast Owyhee Canyonlands
As an American, you are the “public” in “public lands.” It’s your right and your responsibility to weigh in on how federal agencies manage these lands.
This summer, the Bureau of Land Management put out their proposal for how they intend to manage 4.6 million acres in of sagebrush country in southeastern Oregon for the next two decades.
That’s an area larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. And it’s home to a number of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals.
Unfortunately, the BLM’s preferred plan does not…
The Bureau of Land Management just released its Draft Resource Management Plan for Southeastern Oregon, and it fails to protect the wild character of important public lands. It’s time for people to speak up.
On May 31, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Draft Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan Amendment covering 4.6 million acres in the Owyhee Canyonlands. The public now has 90 days to comment on the five management alternatives presented in the plan.
Oregon Natural Desert Association is committed to protecting and restoring public lands in southeastern Oregon and we are alarmed with what BLM…
Bend resident Mark Darnell relates how his adventures into Wilderness Study Areas in Oregon’s high desert are turning him into a better photographer and a more committed conservationist. This is part one of a two-part tale.
The hunting knife in my left hand, poised for use, the trekking pole in my right, poking ahead through the brush, my head swiveled as I solo hiked off trail up a narrow canyon with rimrocks looming 30 feet directly overhead. I whistled and sang to cope with the fear. This was the perfect place for a cougar attack. Surely the rare cougar attack…
An endless array of clouds drift through the skies over eastern Oregon. Here Maria Mudd Ruth, author of “A Sideways Look at Clouds,” describes the clouds captured in images by four talented photographers who help Oregon Natural Desert Association protect Oregon’s high desert lands and skies.
Picture-perfect clouds! These are cumulus humilis clouds — the “humble” cumulus cloud, one that is wider than it is deep. Each of these clouds is the sign of a successful thermal — a parcel of moist, rising warm air that has risen from the sun-warmed earth. As each thermal rises, it cools and, at…
The arid landscape that covers 27.6 million acres of Oregon is packed with opportunities to make interesting photographs. You can fill your frame with impressive canyons, alkali flats that tend toward abstraction or gnarled ancient juniper trees rich with character.
Each year, Oregon Natural Desert Association’s “Wild Desert Calendar” offers up a dozen stunning landscapes showing the beauty of the high desert through the seasons.
To help our members move beyond taking pretty snapshots and toward making “calendar-worthy” images, we asked several experienced high desert photographers and…