Conservation in Central Oregon | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Conservation in Central Oregon

When it comes to plugging into local environmental and conservation causes, these are groups to choose from

Bitterbrush Broads – Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Great Old Broads for Wilderness is a national nonprofit organization based in Durango, Colo. Currently, 40 Chapters of the Broads operate throughout the U.S., with four chapters in Oregon. The Central Oregon Bitterbrush Broads chapter is local to this region. The Broads are engaged in inspiring women and men to protect and preserve wild public lands, focusing on wilderness designation, healthy public lands (addressing overgrazing issues and illegal OHV use), oil, gas and mineral development; and climate change. Meetings and educational forums take place mostly in Bend, with service projects and educational events throughout the area, including the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland.

Conservation in Central Oregon
Wikimedia Commons

The Central Oregon Bitterbrush Broads host Broadchats/educational meetings at The Environmental Center every second Tuesday of even months (April, June, August, October) from 4 – 5:30 pm. Broadwalks include hikes, educational events, stewardship projects and overnight camping. The chapter also encourages members to engage in local and regional advocacy by submitting comments and getting involved in campaigns, lobbying, rallies and tabling at events. Above all, Broads and Bros love to have fun!

Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Info on local and national chapters at:
Email Central OR Bitterbrush Broads:
[email protected].

Oregon Natural Desert Association

Oregon Natural Desert Association aims at protecting, defending and restoring Oregon's high desert for current and future generations.

While much of Oregon's wild terrain is beautiful and pristine, human actions have negatively impacted some areas. ONDA takes a holistic approach to conservation in Oregon's high desert, pairing intensive on-the-ground stewardship with efforts to protect large landscapes in the high desert and beyond. ONDA works on projects in locations including Steens Mountain, the Oregon Badlands, the John Day River and the Owhyee Canyonlands.

Volunteers help to restore streams, improve trails, mail thank you letters, attend meetings, welcome people at ONDA events and much more.

Oregon Natural Desert Association

Oregon Wild

Oregon Wild has a mission to protect and restore Oregon's wildlands, wildlife and waters.

Founded as the Oregon Natural Resources Council in 1974, the organization has helped secure permanent legislative protection through Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers designations. Oregon Wild's wilderness, old-growth forest and clean rivers/watersheds programs protect drinking water, recreation opportunities and fish and wildlife habitat across the state. With a staff of 16, including regional coordinators, Oregon Wild's team also includes thousands of members and dozens of active volunteers.

In Central Oregon, Oregon Wild's current focus is protecting the Ochoco Mountains, a secluded area for wildlife and recreation. As Central Oregon continues to grow, the organization is working to secure permanent protections for the area, aiming to balance recreation, conservation and restoration.

Oregon Wild

Deschutes Land Trust

The Deschutes Land Trust is a nonprofit conserving land in Central Oregon. Its mission is to work cooperatively with landowners to conserve wildlife, scenic views and local communities. DLT has conserved more than 9,1000 acres of land in and around Central Oregon, including nine nature preserves, since 1995.

Land trusts typically conserve land by either purchasing a property outright, or by creating a land protection agreement that stays with the land. Both are created with the intent of protecting the land in perpetuity.

Deschutes Land Trust owns nine nature preserves. Camp Polk Meadow Preserve outside of Sisters is a signature project—a 150-acre property secured in 2000, which includes meadows, aspen and pine stands and 2 miles of Whychus Creek. DLT worked with the community and conservation partners to complete a restoration of the meadow and Whychus Creek in 2012, resulting in healthier habitat for fish and wildlife, and a more knowledgeable and engaged community.

DLT also purchased and created the 450-acre Whychus Canyon Preserve in 2010, and then added another 480 acres in 2014. Located between Sisters and Redmond, the Preserve includes 4 miles of Whychus Creek, native grasslands and old growth juniper. Visitors can hike a network of trails that provide access to the creek, as well as one of the only interpretive trails about the Santiam Wagon Road east of the Cascades.

Recent projects include the effort to conserve the 33,000-acre Skyline Forest between Bend and Sisters, and the establishment of the Land Trust's first Community Preserve in Prineville, the Ochoco Preserve. The Land Trust offers more than 150 free walks, hikes and outings, an annual Nature Night lecture series, and a variety of volunteer opportunities each year.

Deschutes Land Trust

The Environmental Center

The Environmental Center has a mission to embed sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon through education, outreach and community advocacy.

The Environmental Center started with a handful of people and a building in the center of Bend 30 years ago.

Ways to get involved include volunteering the learning garden, asking questions about recycling or sustainability, signing up for the e-newsletter or even just making a donation to support the Center's work. Interested parties can also swing by the building at 16 NW Kansas Ave. in downtown Bend.

The Environmental Center

Central Oregon LandWatch

LandWatch aims for a responsible, balanced approach to planning for and conserving Central Oregon's land and water resources, while at the same time, recognizing the needs of future generations.

LandWatch works in the interest of protecting and conserving the region's ecosystems and wildlife habitats, which can help to create thriving, sustainable communities, and spread the costs and benefits of growth equitably across the community. Take part by going on an educational walk, volunteering or becoming a member.

Central Oregon LandWatch

Juniper Group of the Oregon Sierra Club

The Juniper Group is dedicated to preserving Central and Eastern Oregon's environment, natural resources and quality of life.

The group's overarching purpose is to preserve the region's beauty and natural resources by minimizing human impact. People can get involved by joining as a member, being a volunteer or helping advocate for natural resources.

Oregon Sierra Club
Local contact: [email protected]

Citizens' Climate Lobby

Citizens' Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on policies that address climate change at the national level. The group's goal is to work toward federal legislation that leads to dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Volunteers formed the Bend Chapter of CCL in 2013, one of over 500 chapters across the U.S. The local group works within Central Oregon to build local support for climate-based legislation.

Activities include ongoing communication with members of Congress, public education via presentations and media outreach and engaging business and community leaders in the effort to encourage smart policies related to global warming. New members are welcome at any time. Group members are also available to speak with community members or groups about proposed legislation.

Citizens' Climate Lobby Bend
Email: [email protected]

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