Looking for What Brings Us Together: From Otters to Anglers to Itinerant Farm Workers

This article was published in the River Management Society’s 2020 Spring edition of their print and online journal. From Otters to Anglers to Itinerant Farm Workers: Looking for What Brings Us Together Why would the words of a war zone journalist be relevant to river advocates? Photographer and journalist Ami Vitale offers these insights: If we choose to look for what divides us, we will find it. If we choose to look for what brings us together, we will find that too. Water in the west is filled with conflict among stakeholder groups who often feel misunderstood and sometimes maligned by each other. There are winners and losers, but too often, rivers and all the life that depends on them are on the losing side. This had been true for the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, but positive change was finally underway. Then tensions came to a head in November 2017, … Read more

Voice of the Deschutes with Chad Copeland

Join Chad Copeland as he explores the Deschutes River and how it impacts all of our lives, including recreation, farming, and simply being able to live here. The Voice of the Deschutes episode of Adventure Calls was just released today! Please enjoy it on this Earth Day. While we continue our collaborative work through the Shared Vision for the Deschutes, we’re happy to take a moment to enjoy the beautiful imagery and masterful storytelling of Chad Copeland. Click here to watch: “Voice of the Deschutes”


Conservation measures underway to help balance streamflow within the Deschutes River (Bend, Ore.) In mid-October,Central Oregonians will come together as a community to rescue fish and mitigate impacts caused by drought and scheduled, seasonal streamflow changes in the Upper Deschutes River. Fish get stranded along a 1-mile stretch of channel that dries out every year from Lava Island Trailhead to Meadow Camp off the Deschutes River when water released from Wickiup Dam into the Deschutes River is reduced to store it for next year’s irrigation season. Nearly 50% of Central Oregon farmers depend on the water stored within Wickiup Reservoir. “The fish rescue is a temporary measure,” said Lisa Windom, special projects coordinator for North Unit Irrigation District. “The irrigation districts are working toward long-term solutions to balance the flows.” By piping open irrigation canals, promoting on-farm conservation by patrons (piping private deliveries, converting to sprinklers), and entering temporary instream … Read more

Fox Hollow Ranch – A Family Farm

Three guides explain carrot farmingRichards boys 24secs Sustainable agriculture is more than a buzzword at Fox Hollow Ranch…it’s a family lifestyle. Martin and Nancy Richards operate Fox Hollow Ranch in North Unit Irrigation District raising carrot, parsley, and spinach seed, peppermint oil, Kentucky Bluegrass seed, hay and grain on 640 irrigated acres. People, planet, and profits are all important parts of the continued viability of this operation. Son Kevin and his wife Natalie joined the farm partnership in 2013 and are raising their growing family (3 boys and twins on the way) on the farm. Son Gary earns his livelihood off the farm but has chosen to raise his 3 girls on the farm. These family members and their employees count on a profitable operation to provide economic security for their families. They in turn contribute both economically and socially to the Madras community and beyond. A willingness to react quickly to … Read more

Beer, Bands, and Public Lands

Join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers for their 3rd annual Beers Bands and Public Lands! When: June 15, 2019 2pm – 7pm Where: Drake Park Bring your friends or family to celebrate, share campfire stories and learn to be better stewards of our precious wild places. We’ll have live music, local brews, raffles and prizes from many of Oregon’s amazing outdoor gear companies plus games, vendors and learning opportunities. All proceeds will help the Oregon Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers in our mission to maintain the integrity of, and our access to, America’s most valuable resource.

Restoring the Deschutes River: Getting Beyond Blame

“Who hears the fishes when they cry?” Those haunting words were penned by Henry David Thoreau almost 200 years ago, a reaction to the declining salmon runs he witnessed on the East Coast. Those fish long lost have been referred to as “ghost fishes.” We do not intuitively know what used to be. We suffer from ecological amnesia, accepting what we see today as normal. A hundred years after the Deschutes River was dammed and diverted in order to irrigate arid lands, how do we know what we’ve lost? Thoreau’s piercing question echoes through time. A number of years ago, the reality of my own front-yard river hit home for me. The Deschutes, our beautiful river, once teemed with fish and other wildlife. In little more than a century, it has been transformed from a flourishing ecosystem to a highly altered, managed system with greatly diminished habitat for native fish … Read more