Winter on the Upper Deschutes. Photo by Kim Brannock
This January, the Coalition for the Deschutes will be two years old. We created the Coalition because we were inadvertent witnesses to the terrible condition of the river, and we were compelled to act. We set out to be a voice for the river and to speak on its behalf.
In 2017, we told the river’s story at every opportunity and advocated vigorously for it at every turn.
Here, by the numbers, is a brief summary of our activities this year:
3 Presentations about the Upper Deschutes to local organizations
10 Tabling and participation in events hosted by others
12 Number of times we were in the media speaking on behalf of the river
21 Coalition educational programs, field trips, and gatherings
1,600+ Coalition program participants
4,200 Volunteer hours
Countless Hours spent being active participants in the Basin Study Work Group; advocating for the river at public hearings and submitting written comments; and meeting with watershed “stakeholders” and community members.
But there’s still a lot of work to be done!
We believe that the Deschutes River, like all rivers, is more than just a commodity. It is greater than hydroelectric power generation. Its live-giving essence extends beyond crop production. It is more than just a place to kayak, fish, hike or bike.
Next year, it will be 30 years since the Upper Deschutes River was designated as a Wild and Scenic River. While we’ll celebrate the anniversary, we won’t celebrate the condition of the river. It was unhealthy 30 years ago. It’s still unhealthy today.
It’s time to heal the river.
Critical decisions will be made in the coming year. We hope that you’ll join us at our programs, learn about the problems and solutions, and take action at times when the river needs a powerful voice. (We’ll let you know when those times arrive.)
Thank you for all you have done to make our first two years of existence so successful. We would like to extend special thanks to Kim Elton. Kim served as board president until this fall, when he and his wife bought a house in Halfway and headed east.
We wish you all the best for the New Year.
From the Coalition crew,
Dick, Eddie, Gail, Kim B., Lisa, Mike, Randy, and Timmy
What others are saying about the Coalition
The Coalition’s deep understanding of the needs of the river and their advocacy have strengthened the community’s work as a whole to restore the river and meet ever-increasing demands for water as drought, climate change and population growth continue to occur.
-Margi Hoffmann, Farmers Conservation Alliance
Thank you all very much for another informative and fun field trip. People can only work together in harmony through knowledge, and you are making a difference in fostering this. You all are to be commended for all your organizational and communication skills.
-Pru Sousa, Coalition for the Deschutes member
We Speak for the River!
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