Ryan Ranch. Photo by Kim Elton

Who We Are

We come from all walks of life. We are city dwellers, farmers, kayakers, and anglers. We are longtimers and newcomers to Central Oregon. We are young and old, We are parents, students, working folk, retirees, and more. We are our river’s people.

We are drawn together by:

  • Passion for the Deschutes River
  • Deep love of place and community
  • Belief in fairness and sound stewardship of our natural resources
  • Determination to hand off to future generations a clean, healthy, and sustainable home

Our Story (continued)

The Coalition began with a handful of river advocates who were determined to tell the story of the Deschutes and engage the community more fully as stewards and advocates for the river.

With their combined passion for the river and unrelenting resolve to catalyze change, they took action in January 2016 and created the Coalition for the Deschutes.

Deschutes River and watershed issues are complicated and entrenched, bound up in century-old legal, cultural, and economic concerns. The Coalition for the Deschutes is an independent voice for the river. By bringing public and private partners together, we are advancing our mission of restoring the Deschutes River so that fish, farms, and families can all thrive.

Our Work

Every day, we work to protect and restore the Deschutes River. We educate and engage the community so that we can accelerate fundamental shifts in how the river is managed. With our agricultural, business and nonprofit allies, we build power to effect the change needed to create a cleaner and healthier river.

Our work to bring the community together includes initiating and leading the “Shared Vision for the Deschutes.” The Shared Vision recognizes that the Deschutes River is critical to all facets of our culture and economy. This comprehensive vision of a restored river with healthy flows, modernized irrigation infrastructure from river to farm, and ample water for our growing communities, is endorsed by our partners in the nonprofit, agricultural, and business worlds. Together, we are determined to make our vision a reality.

Field Trips

We bring conservationists, farmers, recreationists, and others together for field trips to meet each other, share stories, and learn from one another.

Educational Programs

Experts from many disciplines–including hydrology, ecology, recreation, and agriculture–speak at our frequent educational programs for the community.

Community Outreach

Our executive director and board members speak at numerous events each year, spreading the word and attracting new members and partners.


We educate and inspire our community to support timely, cost-effective, and sustainable actions for the benefit of all of us: the river and the wildlife that depends on it, farmers, families, recreationists, businesses, anglers, and more.