MiiR x Oregon Natural Desert Association

Published on in Impact
Published on in Impact
MiiR x Oregon Natural Desert Association

The Partnership 

Partners since 2019, MiiR first supported Oregon Natural Desert Association’s (ONDA) campaign to protect Sutton Mountain with a $25,000 grant in October 2019. Our investment propelled efforts to protect Sutton Mountain by increasing public awareness of and engagement in this premier conservation opportunity. Efforts to protect Sutton Mountain enjoy strong support from local community members, and this project sought to elevate the profile of this landscape with the MiiR community.

Landscape image of Sutton winterSutton Winter, Photo Credit: Jim Davis

Since then, MiiR has granted over $35,000 in unrestricted funds to support ONDA’s work across various programs. With the additional, flexible funds, ONDA’s top three priorities in 2022 are: 1) establishing a Sutton Mountain National Monument to protect 60,000 acres in the John Day River Basin, while enhancing economic opportunities for surrounding communities; 2) generating momentum to designate over 1 million acres in the Owyhee Canyonlands as wilderness, notable as the largest conservation opportunity in the lower 48 states; and 3) securing the Wild and Scenic status for significant desert rivers, streams and lakes.


Map showcasing  land and wildlife of Oregon

The Significance 

Oregon’s high desert holds some of the last most intact stretches of sagebrush steppe — which is one of the most imperiled habitats in the American West. In Oregon, greater sage-grouse still have a chance to survive. Pronghorn can still run free, and salmon still swim in undammed rivers. But all of this is tenuous.  

Climate change, invasive species and habitat disruption are all threatening this landscape. These urgent issues demand our attention.

Alvord DesertAlvord Desert, Photo Credit: James Parsons

The Solution

Landscape conservation is the most effective way to ensure that plants, fish and wildlife can thrive. It’s also the only way the plants and animals who call the desert home have any hope of successfully adapting to a changing climate, and we have no time to lose on that front. 

People rafting the OwyheeOwyhee River, Photo Credit: Chad Chas
ONDA conserves large landscapes through its advocacy for science-based conservation management and ecological restoration. 
Landscape image of Leslie GulchLeslie Gulch, Photo Credit: David Stone


Where You Come In

Watching over eight million acres of high desert public lands is a significant undertaking. ONDA welcomes anyone who cares about desert conservation to get involved. Here are five options:

  1. Learn about Oregon’s high desert. 10 Ways to Immerse Yourself in the Desert. 
  2. Use your voice to speak up for conservation. Say thanks, or demand action. 
  3. Follow ONDA’s work. Subscribe to their e-newsletter.
  4. Become a member. Join ONDA with a gift of any size today.
  5. See if there’s a volunteer project for you. Fill out ONDA’s volunteer interest form.
Image of Oregon Sutton Spring landscape in AprilSutton Spring, Photo Credit: Jim Davis