Steens Mountain

Steens Mountain is one of Oregon’s most iconic landscapes and is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area. Located in southeast Oregon, Steens Mountain is the largest fault block mountain in North America, rising more over a mile above the desert floor and stretching for more than 50 miles. It is home to Golden Eagles, Sage Grouse, pronghorn and myriad other species.

A landscape showing Steens Mountain and the road leading up to it.
Steens Mountain, photo by Bonnie Moreland

Threats and Actions to Protect Steens Mountain

Bird Alliance of Oregon and other conservation organizations successfully protected much of Steens Mountain, including the first livestock-free wilderness area in the United States, through passage of the Steens Act of 2000.

In recent years, Bird Alliance of Oregon teamed up with the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) to fight a new threat to this amazing mountain, a huge wind development that would have threatened Golden Eagles and Sage Grouse, and destroyed as much as 30,000 acres of wildlife habitat.  Bird Alliance of Oregon and ONDA won the case in 2016 effectively preventing industrial scale wind development on the mountain.