The Sierra Club recently hosted over two dozen excited activists at the annual Owyhee Rendezvous, a camping and service trip in the heart of Oregon’s remote Owyhee Canyonlands. The region’s bighorn sheep and time spent recovering hiking trails from off-road vehicle abuse were terrific reminders of the region’s value and needs.
Adjacent to wilderness in Idaho, the Oregon portion of the Owyhees is no less stunning, geologically magnificent, and culturally rich than its eastern neighbor--certainly a landscape deserving permanent protection. The Owyhees are home to bighorn sheep, sage grouse and a wide array of raptors and song birds. The area is one of the best strongholds for dwindling populations of sage grouse. The severe, challenging landscape that makes up the Owyhee Canyonlands contains uplands that provide amazing vistas of the deep, rugged river canyons and opportunities for solitude and quiet contemplation seldom found in hectic lives. The canyons themselves provide many climbs that challenge even the most experienced hiker.