Larger than Yellowstone, the Owyhee is home to one of the nation’s largest herds of California bighorn sheep, the imperiled Greater Sage-Grouse and more than two dozen plant species that exist nowhere else in the world, but the area is in danger of oil development.
Osprey has partnered with Ibex and Keen to create five short films and one long film dedicated to protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands – an expanse of two and a half million acres in southeast Oregon.
“This is the last big, and I mean really big, undeveloped chunk of real estate where people can experience grandiosity left in the United States,” said Julie Weikel, a longtime resident and advocate. “It’s pretty special, and maybe we should make sure a couple more generations get to see it, too.”
With the current protections on the books, the Owyhee is vulnerable to oil, gas and mining development, but now a diverse coalition is trying to protect these wildlands.
“When you’re out here and you experience the Owyhee, you can’t help but think of the past, the present, and the future,” said Corie Harlan, the Owyhee coordinator with the Oregon Natural Desert Association. “It’s a landscape shaped by age-old forces. It’s a place where you can be totally present in the current moment. And it’s a place that makes you think. [Permanent protection] says that this will always be here for everyone to know, love, explore, and enjoy.”
Photo/video courtesy Osprey