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News from the Coalition for the Deschutes

May Newsletter


In this newsletter:

Director’s Message
Why We Care – A Place to Call Home: Beavers
Call to Action – Care About the Deschutes River? Connect the Dots

Partner spotlights:
Poland Dairy – Got Milk?
Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe – Got Kayaks?
Deschutes River Conservancy – Got Ron?

Events Not to Miss (lots of them)!
Tim Palmer in the house! America’s Great Rivers Journeys
Kayak Trips with Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe

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2018 Springs to Sprouts – Followup information (and photos)

Thank you for joining on Saturday’s 2nd annual “Springs to Sprouts”!  We hope you enjoyed the day.

 I would also like to send a huge thank you to our co-organizers:

  • Mike Weber with Central Oregon Seed, Inc.
  • Irrigation districts of Central Oregon
  • High Desert Food and Farm Alliance and High Desert EATs

Enormous thanks to all of our presenters who took time out of their weekend to join us:

  • Scott Robinson and Mathias Perle (Dillon Falls and Ryan Ranch)
  • Craig Horrell (Brookswood)
  • Mike Britton and Mike Taylor (bus)
  • Natasha Bellis and Marisa Hossick (bus)

And a special thanks to Rob Rastovich for hosting lunch at his farm and regaling us with stories.

 Please send feedback! Here are some questions to consider:

  • What did you like? What didn’t you like?
  • How could we improve the things that are under our control (which doesn’t include the weather or the bus, unfortunately)?
  • What other topics would you be interested in?
  • Would you participate in Springs to Sprouts again and/or recommend it to your friends?
  • Anything else? 

As I mentioned on the bus, Springs to Sprouts is very much a metaphor for the broader work our partner organizations are doing together. Through organizing this event, we’ve gotten to know and understand each other better, we’ve worked together as trusted partners, and most importantly, we’ve become friends.

 However, this is not an exclusive group. We need and invite your participation and support. Our community will be stronger, and we can meet the challenges of providing water for our rivers, agriculture, and communities (aka: fish, farms, families), if we work together.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like to get involved with the Coalition or one of our partners.

Here now are links for more information:

Lastly, to see posted photos, click here.

If you have some great photos from the day, please share them with us by emailing directly to  If you have too many to email, just drop us a note and we’ll send you a link to directly upload to the album.

Thanks again to one and all!

Gail Snyder, Co-Founder and Executive Director

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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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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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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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Fish Salvage 2017 at Lava Island channel area – with Photos!

This year, the annual Wickiup Dam drawdown brought the reservoir water releases down to the ‘winter’ rate of 100 cfs – starting on October 16th.

Many local volunteers and friends from the following organizations joined together for this year’s Fish Salvage at the Lava Island channel of the Upper Deschutes every day from October 16 through 19th.  Special recognition goes to the organizations’ coordinators, listed below.

To all those that participated, THANK YOU – over 2000 fish were salvaged this year!

Check out photographs, including a few short video clips, that some of the organizers and volunteers shared with us while out at this year’s fish salvage.

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Upper Deschutes Historic Fishery Presentation…and Much More!

Back to the Future: Upper Deschutes Historic Fishery: The Way it Was…and Can Be Again

Monday, October 23, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Brooks Room, Bend downtown library
RSVP requested

Join former Coalition for the Deschutes board member, Craig Lacy, for a presentation about the Upper Deschutes fishery of decades past.

Bend resident Craig Lacy has been an advocate for wild rivers and wild fish for more than four decades. During the early 1980s, Craig worked as a guide for a flyfishing business out of Sisters. In 1985, he started his own outfitting business, Whitewater and Wild Fish, becoming the first full-time outfitter out of Bend to do extended trips on the Deschutes. The business grew over the years, with seven guides taking flyfishers throughout the area, including the high cascade lakes, the Deschutes and the John Day. In the mid 1980s, Craig served as the Chairman of the original Coalition for the Deschutes, which worked to successfully stop 16 proposed hydro-electric dams on the Deschutes, all of which would have been within 15 miles of Bend. Craig and company succeeded in getting the Deschutes added to the state scenic waterway list, which not only stopped the hydro projects from going forward but also gained long-standing state protection for the river. It also inspired activists from around the state to seek similar protection for their own beloved rivers. In 1987, Craig was named “Oregon Flyfisher of the Year” by the Federation of Flyfishers, primarily because of his conservation work.

In 1995, after 11 years of guiding, Craig decided to give his back a rest and work on a degree in fishery science at Oregon State University. With his degree in hand, Craig began consulting on river issues and has contributed to studies and planning for the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers. More recently, Craig helped launch the “new” Coalition for the Deschutes in 2016.

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