Read about and see who's part of the SHARED VISION!

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


Director’s Message

“Sprummer.” That’s how someone recently described the weather now, almost past spring, not quite summer. Seasonal transitions are everywhere, including in and along the river and on the farms.

The flows out of Wickiup have increased from the winter rate of 100 cfs and are currently at ~800 cfs. The side channel along Lava Island is full once again. I’ve spotted a beaver there on a couple of occasions recently. An osprey couple have been working on their aerie, and redwing blackbirds have been reserving rights to their territory among the reeds.

Farmers had quite a delay getting crops in the ground due to all the spring rain. It looked iffy for a while there, but out of necessity, they are an optimistic lot. As our board member, Nancy Richards, told us, if you ask a farmer when their best year was, they will answer, “Next year.”

The Farmers Markets have started up again. If you love local food, thank a farmer, and thank the river. It’s water from the river that makes growing food possible in Central Oregon. Our friends at High Desert Food and Farm Alliance have the dirt on local farms. Check out their directory here.


Why We Care

A Place To Call Home – Beavers

 

“Sprummer.” That’s how someone recently described the weather now, almost past spring, not quite summer. Seasonal transitions are everywhere, including in and along the river and on the farms.

The flows out of Wickiup have increased from the winter rate of 100 cfs and are currently at ~800 cfs. The side channel along Lava Island is full once again. I’ve spotted a beaver there on a couple of occasions recently. An osprey couple have been working on their aerie, and redwing blackbirds have been reserving rights to their territory among the reeds.

Farmers had quite a delay getting crops in the ground due to all the spring rain. It looked iffy for a while there, but out of necessity, they are an optimistic lot. As our board member, Nancy Richards, told us, if you ask a farmer when their best year was, they will answer, “Next year.”

The Farmers Markets have started up again. If you love local food, thank a farmer, and thank the river. It’s water from the river that makes growing food possible in Central Oregon. Our friends at High Desert Food and Farm Alliance have the dirt on local farms. Check out their directory here.

 

 

Speaking of wetlands, check out Ryan Ranch along the Deschutes River Trail. This former wetland is being restored thanks to the hard work of many partners, including the Deschutes National Forest, US Fish and Wildlife ServiceUpper Deschutes Watershed CouncilOWEB, and irrigation districts. If you visit Ryan Ranch, please keep your feet and your dogs’ feet out of the restoration areas and give those baby plants a chance to grow.


Call to Action

Care about the Deschutes River? Then connect the dots…

Central Oregon as we know it today grew up around irrigation. Follow the canals, and you’ll find towns and communities. But can you imagine using the same dusty dirt roads and riding in horse-drawn vehicles to get to them? Maintaining these aging canals is akin to maintaining the Oregon Trail as our main transportation corridors today. And they leak!About 50% of the water diverted from the river never makes it to the properties. Just imagine if that water were left in the river. It’s not just a pipe dream. It is a pipe reality. 

In order to meet the needs of the river, agriculture, and our communities, we must use all of the water conservation tools available to us. These include large-scale piping, on-farm efficiency and private-ditch piping, and water market strategies, as detailed in the Upper Deschutes Basin Study. Piping the irrigation district-owned canals is crucial to the successful implementation of the other tools.

Want to be part of the solution. Sign on to the Shared Vision for the Deschutes and show your support of fish, farms, families, and fun, achieved through water cooperation and collaboration.

Got Milk?

“Organic starts with the soil.” That’s according to Jos and Deanna Poland, owners of Poland Organic Dairy. “Once you get the microbiology working in the soil, it translates to more nutritious crops. These crops in turn improve the health and immune systems of the cows. This then allows the cows to produce better quality milk with higher nutritional value.”

“One of the main reasons we want to be organic is because we want to see the cows out in the pasture. They enjoy it, and it’s healthier,” says Jos. Deanna and Jos run their 270-acre dairy farm near Madras with their three kids and three employees. They bought the farm in 2005, choosing Madras for its drier climate. The cows are much healthier, as the drier air means less bacterial growth for the cows to deal with,” says Jos.

Poland Dairy recently partnered with Eberhard’s Dairy Products to launch a certified organic milk line called Eberhard’s Organic Creamery. “Our goal is to keep producing the best milk possible,” says Jos.

 

Got Kayaks?

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, a locally-owned family business, has been the cornerstone of Central Oregon paddling for 19 years. They employ 50-60 staff in the summer months, and the two stores (in Bend and Sunriver) are gathering places for Bend’s thriving paddling community.

Retail, rentals, tours, and classes for all ages are available at both locations. Whether you want to run whitewater or explore the calm high mountain lakes, the expert staff can get you geared up and ready to paddle.

Tumalo Creek is dedicated to river restoration and preserving our area’s incredible natural environment for future generations. See below for information about this year’s Tumalo Creek and CFD’s kayak-based field trips. We appreciate their support and community spirit!

Got Ron?

In January, the Deschutes River Conservancy welcomed Ron Nelson as their new executive director. While Ron’s role with DRC is new, his connection goes way back. Along with Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and other partners, Ron was instrumental in the creation of the DRC in the early 1990s.

Ron served on the very first Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. He also helped pass Oregon’s landmark Instream Water Right Act and the Conserved Water Program.

Ron’s love of the Deschutes brought him out of retirement and back to Central Oregon at an exciting time. He takes the helm at the DRC as the Upper Deschutes Basin Study wraps ups and we move into the implementation phase of an integrated watershed management plan. Got questions? You can reach Ron here.


Events Not to Miss!

 

Wed, May 8 – Trout Unlimited annual meeting tonight! 
The Deschutes Redbands will be hosting Mia Sheppard, owner of Little Creek Outfitters, who will be talking about our rivers, their fisheries and conservation!  At The Environmental Center. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Free.

Thurs, May 9 – Forgotten Lakes and Rivers of Central Oregon with Daniele McKay

Where were Central Oregon’s rivers and lakes of the past located, how did they get there, and what the heck happened to them? For answers to those mysteries, join us for Forgotten Lakes and Rivers of Central Oregon with geologist Daniele McKay, PhD.

Wed, May 22 – Deschutes River Urban Corridor Hike with Eddie and Kyle (#1)

This hike gives an overview of the many ways the Deschutes River is used by our community. It’s an interpretive hike along the Deschutes River in Bend, with several stops that observe changes to the river over time. Stops include canal diversions and a hydro power station on the southern edge of town.

Mon, June 3 – River Habitat Health of the Upper Deschutes kayak field trip

Join the Coalition and Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe for a water-based exploration of the Upper Deschutes, from Dillon to Benham Falls and back. This trip will be co-led by Mason Lacy, PhD and Toni Pennington, PhD. Mason will provide insight on the unique hydrology of the Deschutes and discuss opportunities as well as barriers to restoration. Toni will discuss aquatic plants and water quality.

 

Tues, June 4 – America’s Great River Journeys with Tim Palmer

Tim Palmer will present a spectacular slide show and talk based on his new book, America’s Great River Journeys. Tim is the award-winning author of 26 books about rivers, conservation, and adventure travel. Recently four of his river photos were selected to appear in a new set of 12 USPS Wild & Scenic River Forever stamps that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic River Act.

Tim has been running rivers for five decades and has worked at the center of river conservation efforts the whole time. He was the recipient of American Rivers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 1988 and many subsequent honors. Paddler magazine named Tim one of the top ten river conservationists of our time and one of the “100 great paddlers of the last century.”

Wed, June 12 – Pesky Plants Pull @ Meadow Camp
Join the Coalition and the Deschutes National Forest for a morning pulling invasive plants along the Deschutes River. We’ll focus our attention on the Meadow Camp Day Use Area.

Thurs, June 13 – Deschutes River Urban Corridor Hike with Eddie and Kyle (#2)


Kayak trips with Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe

Mon, June 3 – River Habitat Health along the Upper Deschutes
Thu, August 15 – Paddle and Talk Water with Kyle
Wed, October 2  –Old Mill District with Daniele

 

Care about the Deschutes River? Join the Coalition

Learn about the Shared Vision for the Deschutes
Click here to sign on to the Shared Vision

Post a comment