The Owyhee River Journals Presentation by Bonnie J. Olin

(Photo above: Mike Quigley and Bonnie Olin take a break after hiking up from the Jackson Hole area of the Owyhee River | by Mike H. Quigley)

At the Jefferson Country Library March 25 by Bonnie J. Olin will talk about The Owhyee River Journals with the photographs of Mike H. Quigley.

Jefferson County and surrounding communities will have a rare and special opportunity to take a vicarious journey with author – Bonnie Olin, into one of the most remote areas in the lower 48 states – The Owyhee Canyonlands – by way of a talk, slideshow, and movie. If you are an outdoor enthusiast or an armchair adventurer, you won’t want to miss seeing the Owyhee, because you won’t find yourself there on the way to anywhere else.

Presentation includes: 
-A talk which includes a brief history of the region, location information, some geology of the canyon, what makes this region special and efforts to protect it.
-13 min. slideshow showing the entire region from Nevada to the Owyhee reservoir in Oregon
-Short reading and introduction to the following movie
-20 minute video of a 2006 expedition into Deep Creek and the East Fork of the Owyhee River (these are the upper regions of the Owyhee in Idaho and Oregon)
-Q & A period
-Signed Book Copies Available

Olin has been kayaking with her husband Mike Quigley for 27 years, using rivers as their highways into the wild. Quiqley has been familiar with the Owyhee since the mid 1970s and introduced Olin to these canyonlands in 1993. Together, they have spent the last 23 years exploring these canyons, kayaking the river and hiking the side canyons from river to rim, countless times. They know, from first hand experience, that there are many reasons to protect this region.

“The canyon geology offers some of the most stunning visual examples of rhyolite formations on our planet,” Olin said. “It is unlike Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands or the Grand Canyon. We have a golden opportunity to protect a landscape like no other in the lower 48 states that could easily qualify for National Park status for it’s unique geologic beauty. It is public land. It belongs to all of us. And yet, the Oregon section of the region remains unprotected.”

Olin began her advocacy with the publication of her book, The Owyhee River Journals. It is a self published book, because larger publishing firms felt that the Owyhee was too unknown to have much of a market. However two editors encouraged her to pursue the project on her own, which she did. The book is considered a writing of record, and came to fruition, in part, because Olin couldn’t find a book on the Owyhee that she was looking for – one bursting with full color photos showing all the stems of the river canyon including the most remote regions. “I wanted to share the Owyhee that I knew, first with family and friends, but eventually with everyone, to increase awareness of the area, in the hope that once people saw the unique beauty of these canyonlands, they might find it a special place worthy of preservation, and support those efforts,” she said. But such a book did not exist. Photos were crucial for her project, and for that, she turned to her husband, Mike Quigley, for permission to use his photos in the book.

To reach her audience, she developed a program which includes a talk, a slideshow and a movie, that together, will take the audience on a vicarious journey deep into the Owyhee Canyonlands, from Nevada, through Idaho and Oregon.

“Oregonians are being ask to make a decision about the future of this magnificent desert country with little knowledge of the region. It is crucial to see it, to have an understanding of it’s importance, and for the public to make an informed decision,” she said.

The book includes an abundance of photographs that feature the entire river system and reveal the magnificent beauty of the inner canyon corridor. The movie video titled “Deep Creek & the Owyhee River,” is a story of an expedition into the Owyhee canyon, by inflatable kayaks in 2006 that begins on a tributary of the East Fork of the Owyhee in Idaho, (Deep Creek), continues on into the East Fork and ends at Three Forks, in Oregon. It is a view of the upper regions of the Owyhee River that few people see, and helps one to understand the significance of this last hidden jewel of the West.

“The Owyhee is a region conjoined by the three states of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. It covers an area of about 9 million acres and is roughly the size of the two small states of Maryland and Rhode Island combined. It is home to one of largest remaining herds of bighorn sheep and many other wild plants and animals unique to the area, such as endangered sage grouse, and it is a region that is best served by remaining intact. It is Sacred land to the Native American community. Idahoans have done their part to create wilderness designation for their section of the canyonlands. We can help to complete the task by protecting Oregon’s section of the Owyhee. Many generations in the future will thank us for our foresight, as we have come to recognize that the desert is not a wasteland and that the Owyhee is one of our nations important natural wonders.”

Handouts offering more detailed information on the conservation proposal, as well as recreational opportunities in the area, will be available at the event. If you are unable to attend, and wish to preview the book, you will find it on Olin’s website at

Saturday, March 25, 2017
4:00 pm
Jefferson County Library’s Rodriquez Annex – 134 SE “E” Street, Madras

Bonnie Olin
Owyhee Media
1013 Kaylee Ave.
Junction City, OR 97448
Tele:   541-998-1291

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *