|Attending the Desert Conference, and what lies ahead|
|Written by Wild Nevada|
|Wednesday, 29 September 2010 08:25|
Last weekend, three staff members of the Nevada Wilderness Project attended the Desert Conference near Antelope, Oregon – hosted by our colleagues at the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA). The conference was an opportunity to connect with our counterparts in Oregon and hold some in-depth, in-person conversations about issues affecting vast areas of shared sagebrush habitat along the border of our two states.
We stayed at the Washington Young Life Christian Camp near Antelope, Oregon (zip-lining into a muddy pond at night has never been more fun), where we listened to talks about public lands restoration opportunities, steelhead and salmon conservation, different perspectives on saving the sagebrush sea, and a 10-year retrospective of the National Landscape Conservation System.
Highlights included an evening talk by author Craig Childs, who showed slides and told us incredible stories about walking through the world’s deserts – under the title of “The Shape of Water: Exploring a Key Element in World Deserts.”
That’s right, the shape of water. In deserts. Childs was amazing.
We also heard from accomplished conservationist Edward M. Norton Sr., who told us of his experiences with conservation work in China and other parts of Asia. These experiences, he explained, have made him view our U.S. land management agencies in a better light. He’s even a little bit proud of agencies like the BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – not for their efficiency, but for their accessibility. “I don’t care whether the BLM has a soul or not,” he said. “…they are not corrupt, and that means everything.”
We’re excited about the habitat, wildlife and landscapes around the Nevada-Oregon state line. Next week, some of us from NWP and two volunteer interns from Patagonia are returning to the area -- this time to explore the Hart National WIldlife Refuge, Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and the miles of wildlands that lie between them. We'll let you know what we see and how conservation opportunities for this vast and important habitat shape up.