Voices for the Owyhee Canyonlands

People from across Oregon are coming together and sharing their unique voices as part of the Protect the Owyhee Canyonlands coalition.

Vernon Winters | Used by permission

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Environment Oregon has joined a broad coalition of organizations and people from across the state to make sure that the Owyhee Canyonlands, one of Oregon’s greatest treasures, will be permanently protected. 

The Owyhee’s vastness is intimidating and humbling; its foreboding canyons and expansive plains invite reverence and wonder. From each awe-inspiring vista, the land goes on farther than the eye can see. The Owyhee Canyonlands is a place like no other, whose timeless majesty is truly something to behold. 

Much like the unique qualities of the Owyhee Canyonlands — from hoodoo formations to hydrothermal hot springs to the 28 plant species that are found nowhere else in the world — each person involved with these efforts brings a unique voice to the call for permanent protection.  

These are just a few of the people involved with the Protect the Owyhee Canyonlands coalition:

The conservation of the Owyhee Canyonlands is vital to our community. Not only are we protecting the land for future generations, but we are also growing our economy, protecting local interests, and preserving a way of life. I firmly believe that safeguarding this cherished land is a responsibility we bestow upon our children and the generations to come. Tim Davis
Founder and Executive Director, Friends of the Owyhee
As one of the most significant landscapes to the Bannock, Shoshone, and Northern Paiute people, designating the Owyhee Canyonlands as a National Monument can offer protections needed for Native people to reconnect with the land and restore fragmented relationships due to a history of displacement. These protections will open up additional resources to care for, monitor, and protect countless cultural and archaeological sites while limiting further damage. Ka’ila Farrell-Smith
Artist, Writer, Activist; Affiliation: Klamath Modoc, MFA
The Owyhee Canyonlands is one of the most iconic sections of the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail. I love hearing hikers gush about their experiences there, and I also enjoy returning again and again to hike among the towering rock pillars and elusive Owyhee clover; I can always find something new to marvel at. Permanent protection for this landscape will ensure that this place will be enjoyed by recreationists in a balanced way, forever. Renee Patrick
Oregon Desert Trail hiker

The voices above, along with myriad others from across the state, are but a few of the nearly 80% of Oregonians in favor of protecting this land. After years of expert study and consensus-building, and with threats to the land only increasing, the Owyhee cannot wait any longer.

Do you have a story to share?

If you’ve been to the Owyhee Canyonlands, to camp, hike, raft, stargaze or experience this amazing landscape in any way and have a story to tell, please let me know.


Justin Boyles

Conservation Advocate, Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center

As the Conservation Advocate for Environment Oregon, Justin runs our campaign to Protect Owyhee Canyonlands. Justin has worked on campaigns to protect the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, clean up superfund sites along the Willamette River and promote solar energy in Oregon. In recent years, he was part of the Public Interest Network's Creative and Editorial team where he developed campaign logos and materials connected to dozens of campaigns, turned deep-dive research into digestible interactive features for our websites, and created myriad tools for campaigns to help win real results for the environment and the public interest. Justin lives in Portland with his wife and children where they regularly explore the diversity that Oregon's environment has to offer: From the coast to the high desert and the many amazing rivers, lakes, forests and mountains in between.

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