Central Oregon

ONDA Celebrates 25 years of High Desert protection

In last 10 years, it's preserved 200,000 acres of wildnerness

25 years of protecting Oregon's High Desert

BEND, Ore. - A milestone for the Oregon Natural Desert Association, more commonly known as ONDA.

The association celebrates 25 years this year.

The goal: to protect, defend and restore Oregon's High Desert.

And there's a lot of desert to protect.

In the last 10 years, ONDA has managed to be a key player in moves to protect 200,000 acres of wilderness including Steens Mountain, Badlands and the Spring Basin along the John Day River.

There are more than 4,000 members and supporters, and their work is not yet done.

"We have about 1,000 volunteers that go out on the ground," Brent Fenty, ONDA executive director, said Sunday. "They might pull barbed-wire fence, plant trees, do things that hopefully improve habitat conditions out in Oregon's High Desert and make it a place that is better for future generations."

 The group is currently working on a proposal to protect two important areas along the John Day River.

Also in the works is the Oregon Desert Trail, a 750-mile trail, starting off in the Badlands Wilderness Area east of Bend and extending out to the Idaho border.

Info: www.onda.org.

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