Know Wilderness: Exploring the Hidden High Desert

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  8/29/2014

Hidden High DesertOregon is known for its lush forests and rugged coast, but the eastern half of our state holds a fascinating desert landscape that is surprisingly diverse and teeming with life. From snow-capped peaks, to raging rivers flowing through sheer-walled canyons to the vast sagebrush sea, Oregon’s high desert offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. Deschutes Public Library will host two explorations of this region as part of a month-long “Know Wilderness” celebration, which recognizes the 50th anniversary of the landmark Wilderness act, which revolutionized wilderness protections. Both presentations are free and open to the public; no registration is required.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 • 1:00 p.m.
Sisters Library

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 • 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library

Leading the talks will be Gena Goodman-Campbell, Central Oregon Coordinator for the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), and Dan Morse, Conservation Director with ONDA. Goodman-Campbell will highlight high desert gems right in Central Oregon’s backyard. “As the region’s population continues to grow, excellent recreation and abundant solitude still remain at locales like Alder Springs, Oregon Badlands Wilderness and Hampton Butte,” she says. She will discuss what makes these places so special, and how Central Oregonians can help ensure they stay this way for generations to come.

For adventures farther afield, Morse will share highlights of Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands, which he calls “one of the crown jewels of our state.” Often referred to as Oregon’s Grand Canyon, the Owyhee features red-rock canyons, vital rivers and top-notch recreation.

“Driving east on Highway 20, it is easy to miss the wonder and beauty that Oregon’s high desert has to offer,” Goodman-Campbell says. “But once you venture off the pavement a little bit, you realize that eastern Oregon is full of surprises. There are red-rock canyons, trout-filled rivers and views that go for miles. And you’re quite likely to have it all to yourself.”

For more information about these or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Tina at 541-312-1034.

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