Click EVENTS for April 23rd details. Renowned author and much more,Tim Palmer: "Wild & Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy"

News from the Coalition for the Deschutes

Our Wild and Scenic Deschutes River; An Evening w/ Tim Palmer

Photo by Dave Rein

Whaaat! This year marks THIRTY years since the Upper Deschutes River was designated WILD and SCENIC!  Aw yup. Stretches of the Deschutes River, along with other rivers in Oregon, were designated as Wild and Scenic in October 1988.

Of the approximately 3.6 million miles of streams in the US, 12,734 miles (about 0.35%) are protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Oregon has approximately 110,994 miles of river. Of these, 1,916.7 miles (almost 2%) are Wild and Scenic.

Please join us on Monday, April 23rd, to hear Tim Palmer talk about the amazing Wild and Scenic River program, and the rivers that have this esteemed status. Here are some fun facts about the Deschutes River from Tim’s new book.

  • The Deschutes River is the 4th longest in the nation in terms of total miles designated Wild and Scenic. In all, 170 miles of the Deschutes River are designated Wild and Scenic.
  • The Deschutes watershed is 8th in the nation in terms of total miles designated in a single watershed as Wild and Scenic (354 miles total).
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A River and its Ranchers; A Joke (help us!); More March events

A rancher and a river advocate walked into a bar. The bartender said, “______.”
Please send us your punchline to this joke!  More information below.

If you’re wondering if we really can solve river issues collaboratively, then please join us for a real-life example of this work being done in eastern Oregon.

Details of this, and more March events below.
The confluence of Lostine and Wallowa Rivers, by Rob Kirschner
Lessons from Lostine River:  A Story about Ranchers and a River
Prior to 2005, the Lostine River in northeast Oregon frequently ran dry in late summer, leaving threatened Chinook salmon without passage to critical spawning grounds. Since then
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Volunteer Event April 7: Thinning Within the Upper Deschutes Wild and Scenic River corridor

Join Forest Service staff for a volunteer opportunity to give back to our rivers!

Saturday, April 7, 2018
10:00 AM 1:00 PM

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Running Hot and Cold; Wildflowers; A River and its Ranchers

There’s so much happening in Central Oregon water world in March! The Coalition is presenting two programs, one about wildflowers and the other about ranchers and river advocates. You can read about these and more below.
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“Flow with Elephants”, by Jenner Fox


Wondering how to measure river flows? Try using elephants. This vignette was shared with us by the river-raftin’ musician, Jenner Fox. It will appear in the sequel to Halfway to Halfway, a book of river tales by our very own board member, Dick Linford.

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Taking the River’s Temperature, Muddy Trails, and Upcoming Events

Taking the River’s Temperature: It’s Not Just Another Number

Please join us on Sunday, February 25th, for a presentation by Dr. E. Ashley Steel.  Dr. Steel will give us a glimpse into her world as an ecologist with the Pacific NW Research Station. She’ll explain her work exploring the thermal regimes of rivers and why they matter.

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Feature film/panel event on January 30th: United By Water: Culture, Fish, Water

United By Water: Culture, Fish, Water

The inspiring journey of Upper Columbia River tribal communities as they reconnect with their tribal traditions and the river.

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2017 in the Rearview Mirror; Looking Forward to 2018


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:

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Presentation Materials from Jackie Dingfelder: Integrated River Water Management – Oregon Lessons to Learn from New Zealand

Introduction: We tend to take rivers for granted. Even in New Zealand, a country that has been idealized for its natural beauty, rivers have, and continue to be, exploited for the many valuable resources they provide for humans.

Throughout the world, rivers and the web of life dependent on them, are imperiled. We are all part of that web of life. It’s time for us to tend to our own river, the Deschutes River. Please help us write a positive future for the Deschutes River – Gail Snyder, Coalition for the Deschutes

Drawing from her vast experience in Oregon and New Zealand, Dr. Jackie Dingfelder presented perspectives on river management and lessons that we can learn that are applicable to Central Oregon rivers.

While on a Fulbright Fellowship in New Zealand, Jackie studied first hand how they are addressing conservation concerns and threats to their rivers and riparian habitats. She discussed Maori rights, the impact of cows and market forces (China’s demand for more dairy products), and personhood for the Whanganui River.  She believes the Land and Water Forum is a framework from which Oregon could benefit.

She has generously shared her slides with us:

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Presentation Slides from Craig Lacy’s Talk: Historic Fishery of the Upper Deschutes River

Craig Lacey has generously shared the presentation materials from his talk at our October 23rd event at the Deschutes Public Library in Bend.   These contain not only the slides but also his presentation notes.

Be sure to read Craig’s fascinating biography below the presentation frame.


Photographs courtesy of Jerry Freilich – see more from the event here.

His presentation and biograpy follow:

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