Oregon’s high desert is my home. It is a very special place to me – I was born here and have lived here my entire life. When many people think of Oregon, they picture our state’s lush, moss-covered forest west of the Cascades. But I think of vast, open expanses of sagebrush, hear the joyful calls of meadow larks echoing in a desert canyon and smell the spicy scent of juniper.
I’ve been fortunate to explore the wonders of Oregon’s remote desert lands with my father, who is a botanist. Searching out secret, spring blooms is a favorite ritual of ours. We move at a slower pace in these wild places, appreciating the small details of a sky-blue wildflower or a dusty lizard crouched in an overlooked crevice.
I may be 17, but it’s important that people my age stand up for what they believe in and strive to create the bright, healthy future they want to see. That’s why I support protecting Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands. Every generation deserves the chance to experience wild places as they are today – and reconnect with nature in places that haven’t been marred by mining or oil and gas development. So while I may not know exactly what I want to do in the years ahead, I know how I want to make a difference and make the world a better place: By starting right here in my beloved Oregon and helping preserve places like the Owyhee – for all us and for future generations.