Oregon Natural Desert Association presents the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Friday, September 29, 2023 at the Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon. They are advertising the event as “an evening of short films showcasing our earth’s natural wonders and the amazing stories of activists working to conserve the environment.”
Before the show begins, attendees will have the opportunity to chat with ONDA staff, learn about current advocacy and volunteer opportunities, buy raffle tickets, and catch up with fellow ONDA community members.
In 1987, a group of community members based in and around Bend, Oregon realized that the high desert lands and waters they loved had no one dedicated to their protection.
In the three decades since the Oregon Natural Desert Association was founded, this community has protected and restored millions of acres of Oregon’s high desert and grown to welcome members across Oregon and beyond. They have built a strong community of desert advocates to speak up for public lands and take part in hands-on restoration projects year after year.
Oregon Natural Desert Association’s conservation program protects the most spectacular places in Oregon’s high desert, including such treasured spots as Steens Mountain, the John Day River Basin, and the Owyhee Canyonlands. They support the fish and wildlife found within these wild areas, and they guide people in finding new ways to experience this rich natural legacy.
ONDA encourages people to speak up for public lands. They track legislative and administrative efforts and keep their members up-to-date on important issues and threats. ONDA builds relationships with a broad set of stakeholders, including elected officials, tribal leaders, land managers, local community members throughout Oregon, landowners, businesses, and the media.
Oregon Natural Desert Association has successfully led campaigns that established the first, and only, wilderness areas in Oregon’s high desert: Steens Mountain Wilderness, Oregon Badlands Wilderness, and Spring Basin Wilderness. ONDA also represents the interests of their members and supporters to land management agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, when decisions are being made about how to manage public lands.
Hana Sant, Oregon Natural Desert Association’s Development Manager, says, “We use the on-tour film fest in two main ways — one is to deepen engagement with our current supporter base by offering them an opportunity to come and meet staff to learn more about the work we do and how to get involved with advocacy and volunteering, etc. The other is to reach new audiences! We find the film fest is a great way to appeal to a diverse group of people and allows us to get them excited about the natural world and activism, and then offer them ways to get involved with ONDA and our work to conserve and restore public lands in Oregon’s high desert.
Overall, the film fest gives us an opportunity to bring our community together and inspire people — to help them see that they can make a difference, and that ONDA offers many ways to get involved at a grassroots level. We love that we can now host the in-person show and have a virtual streaming version as well, as it allows us to reach a wider audience and makes the event more accessible.”