ONDA's mission is to protect, defend and restore the health of Oregon's native deserts. ONDA got its start in the mid-1980s,when a small group of desert activists joined together to oppose the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) inadequate findings in their assessment of "Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs)" for Eastern Oregon. The work of these activists resulted in a significant expansion of the acreage of declared WSA's, which ONDA continues to monitor today. In 1989, the organization officially incorporated and received its non-profit status. Since then, the organization has emerged as a leader in efforts to protect High Desert lands and water from irresponsible livestock grazing, mining, and geothermal development.