Oregon Natural Desert Association

Oregon Natural Desert Association aims to see millions of acres of beautiful and ecologically vital public land permanently protected, home to diverse populations of wildlife, and available for people to enjoy forever. Working in partnership with more than 4,000 members and supporters, ONDA is the only group dedicated exclusively to the conservation of Oregon's high desert rivers and landscapes. ONDA is committed to engaging diverse voices in its efforts to conserve vast tracts of public lands in areas such as Central Oregon, the John Day River, the Greater Hart Sheldon Landscape and the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Oregon Natural Desert Association has been a Brainerd Foundation grantee since 2000.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association logo

Oregon Natural Desert Association Photo gallery

Bunch grasses in Spring Basin. Photo courtesy of Jim Davis.

Young ONDA volunteers helping to remove obsolete barbed wire fence.

Pressure Ridge in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness. Photo courtesy of Greg Burke.

ONDA volunteers after removing obsolete barbed wire fencing.

January in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness.

One satisfied volunteer, after removing obsolete barbed wire fencing.

Sunset at Twin Spring in the Owyhee Canyonlands of Oregon's high desert. Photo courtesy of Greg Burke, provided courtesy of Oregon Natural Desert Association.

Alvord Desert with Steens Mountain. Photo courtesy of Tyson Fisher

Oregon Natural Desert Association Grant history


$25,000 - To empower new and existing supporters to organize others in their communities to become more engaged in protecting public lands. Conservation capacity


$3,000 - Staff training to capitalize on some newly collected data from Salesforce to optimize donor outreach. Opportunity fund


$150,000 - A two year grant for general support of the organization’s goals to protect the high desert landscapes of Central and Eastern Oregon. Place-based conservation


$10,000 - For preservation of the Owyhee Canyonlands. Grassroots fund


$30,000 - For general support to protect the health of Oregon’s native high desert. Place-based conservation


$1,500 - To support a leadership and community engagement training. Opportunity fund


$275,000 - To permanently protect wildlands in Central Oregon's high desert and expand ONDA's communications capacity. Place-based conservation


$35,000 - To build communications capacity. Conservation capacity


$200,000 - A three-year grant to protect the unique landscapes of Central Oregon's high desert and to expand the organization's policy and outreach efforts. Place-based conservation


$20,000 - To permanently protect wildlands in Central Oregon's High Desert. Place-based conservation


$3,000 - To report on wind power development and its impact on wildlife in oregon's High Desert. Opportunity fund


$25,000 - To protect central Oregon's Badlands as a gateway to the state's high desert. Place-based conservation


$625 - To provide leadership training. Opportunity fund


$20,000 - For organizational capacity building to develop a fundraising plan and expand communications capacity. Conservation capacity


$30,000 - To support a critical scientific assessment of arid-land steppe and riparian habitats throughout western North America. Place-based conservation

Oregon Natural Desert Association Successes

Ruling protects Greater Sage-Grouse in Southeastern Oregon

Ruling protects Greater Sage-Grouse in Southeastern Oregon

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an environmental review by the Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately assess the winter population of Greater Sage-Grouse at a proposed wind power facility that would have been located in dwindling sagebrush habitat on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. The proposal was called "the right idea in the wrong place," as Greater Sage-Grouse need sagebrush year-round for mating, rearing, and food. The Brainerd Foundation supports the work of the Oregon Natural Desert Association to protect the high desert landscapes of Oregon.