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