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Rattlesnake Springs Backcountry Restoration

September 3, 2019

$65 – $75

Rattlesnake Springs Backcountry Restoration

When Oct 16, 2014 11:00 AM to
Oct 19, 2014 02:00 PM
Contact Name Jefferson Jacobs
Contact Phone (541) 330-2638
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Pine Creek Conservation Area (PCCA) encompasses 35,000 acres of land near Clarno, on the John Day River. Open to the public, the land is managed by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as mitigation for the Bonneville Power Administration John Day Dam on the Columbia River. As such, it is managed in perpetuity for the benefit of fish and wildlife. The area is open to hiking and hunting, but closed to motorized vehicles. A contiguous neighbor to Spring Basin Wilderness (PCCA borders the Wilderness on three sides), the Conservation Area is a great demonstration of the success of linking together the patchwork of public and private lands protected in the John Day Basin, ultimately providing large contiguous landscapes conserved for the enjoyment of the public, and the enhancement of native fish, wildlife and habitat. ONDA has been a long-time partner with PCCA, planting tens of thousands of trees in critical riparian habitat and mapping and removing dozens of miles of obsolete fence.

Upland springs are an extremely valuable resource to wildlife in the high desert.  Springs get denuded of native plants through overgrazing and dewatered by the expansion of native junipers.  This trip will focus on addressing both these issues. Last year, several miles of fence were removed around the immediate spring area and further afield in the valley in preparation for vegetation restoration this year.


  • Thursday, October 16th (11 AM): We will meet/park at the Robinson Creek Campsite, and re-load our gear for the 4WD shuttle out to the base-camp campsite.
  • Friday, October 17th: Our first of two big days of planting trees and moving around juniper slash.
  • Saturday, October 18th: The second day of restoration work
  • Sunday, October 19th: After breakfast, we will all pack up and get shuttled back out to our vehicles and then head home. You will have the option to hike back to the cars down Robinson Canyon (I would still haul your gear for you) or I can shuttle folks all the way back to their cars in the ONDA vehicle.

There is a lot of work to do around the Rattlesnake Springs area.  On a previous trip we removed the obsolete barbed wire that was a hazard to wildlife in the area.  On this trip we will focus on reclaiming some of the open water at the springs to make it better available for wildlife, rebuilding a small dyke to hold water, planting native woody browse on the banks of the spring and stream, and moving around juniper slash to open up the habitat and reduce fire danger.  The work is within a few minutes walk of camp, and allows for individual pacing, however all of the work will be relatively physical in nature requiring one or more of the following: walking up and down hills, digging holes and hauling awkward loads.  We will typically head to the work site at 8AM and stop work by 4PM in order to leave time in the afternoon to clean-up, relax, and cook a well-deserved dinner. This will be a great chance to get to work on a project that will, over the course of the next few years, dramatically change a small corner of the high desert for the better.

We will be operating out of the same camp for the length of the trip. Since we will be shuttling everyone’s gear into camp, it is a good idea to pack compactly. Potable water will be trucked in with us, but the setting will be wild: not a developed campsite. 


Rattlesnake canyon
Relaxing around the fire after a hard day’s work in Rattlesnake Canyon


3 out of 5. .  Click HERE for a description of the trip difficulty rating system.

PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITIES:Participants are responsible for their own food, camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this trip.  Having our gear trucked into the campsite will allow some small luxuries that you wouldn’t otherwise have on a backpacking trip (maybe a small cooler, or a compact folding chair), however all our gear will have to fit into a finite space, so there will be some restraint required.  Participants should be prepared to be away from camp all day each of the work days.

ONDA will provide tools for the work, gear transportation to the base camp, expert leadership and we can teach you all you need to know about fence pulling!


This trip will be led by ONDA’s Wilderness Stewardship Coordinator Jefferson Jacobs
Group size is limited to 15 participants
This trip is offered to members free of charge.

An ONDA registration application and medical form is required for this trip.
 Click HERE for the form.  You only need to fill this form out once per year: You can join additional trips by e-mailing the trip leader directly.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 working days of submitting the form.  The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full and so your name has been placed on the “wait list”.  Five weeks before the trip starts the trip leader will send out an RSVP e-mail to make sure everyone is still available to participate.  Three weeks before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc.  However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader at the e-mail address above.


Deschutes Brewery
(541) 382-9242
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Deschutes Brewery Public House
1044 NW Bond St
Bend, OR 97701 United States
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