Call for Photos: Announcing the HDC 50th Anniversary Photo Contest

June 11, 2014

Oregon Chapter Sierra Club High Desert Committee

Call for Photos

Calling all photographers! Your help is needed. You’re invited to submit your best shots of Oregon’s wilderness areas for a chance to be featured in the Oregon Sierra Club High Desert Committee’s Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Photography Exhibit this fall. Both professional and amateur photo submissions are encouraged.

High Desert_2What is the Sierra Club High Desert Committee’s Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Photography Exhibit?

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act this year, the Sierra Club High Desert Committee will be putting on a photography exhibit highlighting the wilderness places that are yet to be protected in our very own state of Oregon. By exhibiting these photographs, we hope to increase the awareness and inspiration to protect these areas.

Submission Deadline: Friday, August 1st, 2014 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time 

Submission Guidelines:

  • Both professional and amateur photography submissions are encouraged
  • Submit up to five (5) images per photographer allowed
  • Selected photographs will be featured in the Sierra Club High Desert Committee’s Wilderness Act
    50th Anniversary Photography Exhibit Event in the fall 2014.
  • Photographers will need to complete a Photographer Permission as part of the submission.
    Download the form here:
  • Elements or objects not in original scene should be added.
  • Electronic submissions only, please. E-mail images to with subject line: HDC 
    WildAct 50th Photo Exhibit Submission 
  • Electronic photograph submission requirements:
    • Photograph must be submitted in JPG format
    • 5 MB at least but no bigger than 10 MB
    • Each photograph must include:
      • Image description
      • Location
      • Photographer name
  • *** 300 dpi format might be requested for selected images. Photographers will be contacted.
  • If submission requirements are not followed, the image submitted may not be considered.
  • Photographs must be taken within areas listed.
  • Any wilderness scene whether wildlife, plants or scenic landscape are eligible.
  • Any watermark must be removed.

Photograph Locations:

Images from Oregon’s wilderness areas that are yet to be protected, with an emphasis on locations listed below will be selected for the exhibit. Photos from high priority areas and locations are preferred but all photos from Oregon’s wilderness areas yet to be protected will be considered.

Current campaigns:

Terms and Conditions (in addition to the Photograph Permission): 

  • Photographs will be accepted only from the original photographer who must be the sole author and owner of the copyright for photos submitted.
  • Selected photographs will be printed only once for the purpose of the exhibit. Use of the printed photographs may be used for future exhibits and fund-raising events by the Sierra Club.

Report from Sutton Mountain

May 8, 2014


DSC_0112The High Desert Committee led a trip to the Sutton Mountain wilderness study area at the end of April. Located near Mitchell, Oregon and adjacent to the Painted Hills National Monument, Sutton Mountain provides a birds-eye view of the colorful striations of the Painted Hills, created by wind, time and geologic activity.

After a hike through Black Canyon to gain the upper plateau, the group was treated to blooming hedgehog cacti along the rim. Lunch was spent enjoying the stunning vistas and basking in the sun, then Borden Beck led the climb down along what was surely a mountain goat trail.

Sierra Club outings allow you to explore and enjoy areas of Oregon that you may or may not be familiar with. Experienced volunteer leaders share their favorite areas of Oregon and talk about efforts to protect these areas so that future generations can enjoy these wild areas as we see them now.

Click here to discover a Sierra Club outing in your area.

Click here to read more about the Oregon Chapter’s High Desert Committee and how you can get involved.

Join us in the High Desert this Summer!

April 3, 2014
Anderson Crossing

Anderson Crossing, Oregon High Desert

Southeastern Oregon has some of the most wild and pristine landscapes in the continental United States. Stunning rock formations, endless vistas and wild lands are waiting to be explored, most without developed trails to mark human existence.

If you are the adventurous type, consider joining the Sierra Club’s High Desert Committee on a trip to Oregon’s High Desert this summer. We have trips planned to:
  • Sutton Mountain, in the John Day River area
  • Leslie Gulch, in the Owyhee Canyonlands
  • Anderson Crossing, in the Owyhee Canyonlands
  • Steens Mountain
We have trips for all levels of hikers, with special trips for camera buffs and those who are service-minded. For more informations, visit our website at

High Desert Adventures 2013!

April 8, 2013

UntitledThe High Desert Committee will be leading two trips to the desert this summer. Descriptions and contacts follow. We also think there is a probability we will offer a fall multi-day trip as well but have not finalized plans. Visit our website for updates.

Owyhee Rendezvous 
Jun 26 – 30, 2013

Calling all desert enthusiasts! We are once again hosting an Owyhee Rendezvous–a time and a place to meet together and explore, enjoy, and learn how to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands area. The landscape of our current campaign, the Owyhee Canyonlands, is vast and diverse. We will form a base camp at Leslie Gulch, and from there lead daily hikes. Day hikes will visit areas in and around Leslie Gulch, Three Forks, Jordan Craters, Painted Gulch and more. We also hope to organize a day of service with the BLM. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet up with old and new friends in a stunningly beautiful place.To register, contact: Bill Hart, 503-236-8058,

Steens Mountain Fence Pull
Jul 26 – 31, 2013

Want to help add a bit more “wild” to the Steens Mountain wilderness? Join us in removing the visual blight of old fencing that’s also a danger to hikers and wildlife. This year we will backpack in to our work site. No experience necessary! We will have down time to explore the area. We will even feed you dinner. The work is strenuous and the climate hot, but you’ll walk away with a feeling of accomplishment! To register, contact: Harry Anderton, 503-241-7035,

Oregon’s Owyhees: Deserving of Permanent Protection

August 23, 2012

Sierra Club volunteers exploring the Owyhee Canyonlands of Southeast Oregon.

In a recent post on the Sierra Club’s national ‘Lay of the Land’ blog, Jill Workman, an Oregon Chapter Sierra Club leader and member of the Sierra Club’s Resilient Habitats Leadership Team, wrote in support of a new National Monument designation to protect Oregon’s rugged and remote Owyhee Canyonlands.

We envision a national monument that will permanently protect the Owyhee Canyonlands from the landscape scale destruction, miles of roads, and air and water pollution that accompany mining activities; give the Bureau of Lands Management tools to better combat off-road vehicle abuse and control noxious weeds; and bring much needed resources to the area while assuring that this remote, desert region maintains its ecological integrity. 

A national monument proclamation for the Owyhee Canyonlands would allow the traditional uses of the land–including camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, birding and rafting–to continue. It may also help restore economic prosperity to an economically-challenged area, as has occurred in communities adjacent to Cascade Siskiyou, Vermillion Cliffs, and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments.

Read the full post here.

Permanent protection for the Owyhee Canyonlands is one of the Sierra Club’s priorities in Oregon. You can help this effort by getting involved with the Oregon Chapter Sierra Club’s High Desert Committee.

Join us for Desert Conference XXIV!

July 12, 2012
photo by Brian S. Pasko

Oregon Chapter High Desert Committee Chair Borden Beck surveys the lava flows at Jordan Crater in the Owyhee Canyonlands of southeast Oregon.

Desert Conference XXIV
September 20-22, 2012
Bend, Oregon

After a year hiatus, we are excited to announce the return of The Desert Conference this September. The Sierra Club High Desert Committee has had a long history of participating in and sponsoring this conference, and this year we will see a new format to the event (Thurs eve thru Sat eve and you are on your own for food and lodging).

As in past years there will be a number of panel sessions focused on a wide variety of topics ranging from sage grouse and juniper management, to landscape protection campaigns and energy development, and much more. On Saturday afternoon there will be a variety of field trips to nearby wild areas such as the Badlands and the Deschutes Canyon.

This year the conference will be held in Bend and will be kicked off with the Wild and Scenic Film Festival Thursday evening. Friday will include a reading by Ursula K. Le Guin followed by keynote speaker Kathleen Dean Moore (philosophy professor and author) with music by Truck Stop Gravy to finish the evening. The whole event is a great way to network with other desert activists and learn more about desert conservation in Oregon and have some fun along the way.

The conference is being organized by the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) with sponsorship from the Sierra Club and the PEW Charitable Trusts. For more information, a draft agenda, and registration, please go to:

Join us for the Owyhee Rendezvous June 20-24! (Free Event!)

June 6, 2012

It’s time to clean off the summer gear and prepare for the Owyhee Rendevouz!

The Owyhee is a long drive into the morning sun, venturing deep into southeastern Oregon’s Malheur County. Our destination is along the eastern edge of Lake Owyhee or as some folks call it, the Owyhee Reservoir.

Slocum Campground, at the end of Leslie Gulch, will serve as base camp for a 5-day, June 20-24, desert rendezvous hosted by the Sierra Club’s Oregon Chapter High Desert Committee.

The Owyhee rendezvous is our opportunity to show folks the wonders, solitude and beauty that lie in the southern portion of our state. There are many spectacular hikes from base camp that capture the geologic diversity of the landscape. You’ll find wildlife but you’ll have to move slowly. There are guided hikes wandering along old roads and winding trails dotted with wildflowers or a dancing stream. Meanwhile the daylight is constantly changing as it reflects off the stone monoliths, which are scattered across the landscape.

Amazing desert mornings where you can watch the sun come over the horizon as you crawl out of your tent. The air is brisk, but full of energy. And within a few minutes the sun is up and the air is getting warmer. Welcome to the Owyhee!

Join us!
Sierra Club High Desert Committee
Owyhee Rendezvous
June 20 – 24, 2012

For more information, contact: Bill Hart at