Juniper Group Desert Goals
The Oregon High Desert contains a stunning variety of terrain and ecologies. From sagebrush-dotted grasslands above 4,000 feet in elevation, to the biodiversity of the Steens Mountain Wilderness, to the hills above the Snake River Hells Canyon, to the remote Owyhee Canyonlands, each of these areas presents a preservation and restoration challenge. The challenges arise primarily from continuing human settlement in previously remote areas, denuding of plant life by overgrazing, and the steady march of invasive plant and animal species that destroy and displace native species.
The efforts to preserve and protect these areas are led primarily by the Oregon Chapter High Desert Committee. The Juniper Group participates in High Desert Committee activities and provides volunteers to assist the Committee. Preserving and restoring the high desert is being accomplished primarily through three methods: setting aside federally-owned areas as Wilderness or other legally protected classifications; removing as much land as possible from grazing leased status; and educating our statewide population on the beauty and value of these lands through volunteer field trips and restoration activities. In each of these methods, we are seeking to work collaboratively with the Bureau of Land Management, local property owners, and other environmental organizations such the Oregon Natural Desert Association.