Last Chance for the Deschutes: Tod Heisler Discusses What’s at Stake

Join LandWatch at Worthy Brewing to hear from Tod Heisler, our Rivers Conservation Program Director, to learn about the threats to the Deschutes River Basin, the “solutions” proposed by the irrigation districts, and what we can all do to preserve the River for the next 30 years and beyond.

The biggest decision-point in our lifetimes for the future of the Deschutes River Basin was triggered last week when irrigation districts submitted a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Come learn about the plan, how it fails to address the challenges facing the River, and what you can do to help change the course of the Deschutes River Basin forever.

This is a free event with a $10 suggested donation. Please register. LandWatch members will receive a complimentary drink ticket.

The Deschutes River: A Path Forward

From fish to families, kayaks to carrot seed, ecology to economy, a lot is asked of the Deschutes River. A number of activities affecting the management of the river are bubbling to the surface at the same time, making this a pivotal moment. Join panelists for a discussion of the Habitat Conservation Plan for endangered species, water conservation and irrigation modernization, and community engagement in crafting a future for the Deschutes that meets the needs of fish, farms, and families.

Free, please register here!


  •          Jason Gritzner – Hydrologist, Watershed Program Manager, US Forest Service
  •          Ron Nelson – Deschutes River Conservancy Executive Director
  •          Bridget Moran – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bend Field Office, Field Supervisor
  •          Craig Horrell – Chair Deschutes Basin Board of Control; Central Oregon Irrigation District, Managing Director
  •          Mike Britton – North Unit Irrigation District, General Manager
  •          Margi Hoffmann – Farmers Conservation Alliance, Community Relations Director

Presented by the Coalition for the Deschutes, Deschutes Redbands Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Juniper Group of Sierra Club, and League of Women Voters of Deschutes County.

Springs to Sprouts

Springs to Sprouts was created in 2017 as a way to bring together river advocates, farmers, and other key community members to learn about the Deschutes River and irrigated agriculture in Central Oregon. Through this field trip, friendships have been forged and our understanding of each others’ lives and perspectives has deepened. Collaboration begins with conversation, and our community is strengthened through both.

This year we’re going to focus on the “Sprouts” part of the field trip and head directly to Jefferson County from Bend.

When: Saturday, August 24th, 8:15 – 4:00 pm
Where: Leave Bend by bus at 8:45 am; spend the day in Jefferson Co.; back in Bend by 4:00 pm
What: Visit two Jefferson County farms and Central Oregon Seeds, Inc.

Click here to register and read more details about the itinerary and speakers!

Kayak Trip: Questions Answered!

Got questions about the Deschutes? What better way to learn about the river than to paddle it with a pro?

Join the Coalition for the Deschutes and Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe (TCKC) for a water-based exploration of the Upper Deschutes. TCKC will provide transportation, guides, and all the gear. Local water expert, Kyle Gorman, will edify and entertain you with stories about how the Deschutes River works and is managed.

Pre-registration required. This trip is appropriate for all skill levels, including beginners; there are no sections of the river that require technical paddling skills, and moving flatwater will help your boat along.

Deschutes River Cleanup

The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council invites watershed stewards of all ages to join us for the 23nd annual Deschutes River Cleanup on Saturday, July 27, 2019!

Volunteers will meet at Riverbend Park at 10am. River clean-up activities will take place in the Deschutes River and along its riparian areas between Meadow Camp and Drake Park. Bring your paddleboard, kayak, or canoe to help Central Oregon Diving divers pull garbage out of the river, or help us pull invasive weeds and remove litter from the stream banks.

Feathers, Fur, and Feelers: Deschutes River Residents

Globe-trotting photographer, Dave Rein, keeps it mostly local in this upcoming presentation. Dave will share some of his most endearing photos of wildlife as well as scenic shots of Central Oregon rivers and beyond. Along the way, he’ll offer photographic tips and tell tales about his encounters and adventures. Dave has an affection, and a keen eye, for river otters!

Doors open at 6:00 pm. Please RSVP. Suggested donation $2-$5 at the door.

What the River? Upper Deschutes Hydrology

Join USFS hydrologist Jason Gritzner for a close look at the Upper Deschutes River. Jason will zoom in on the river today, how it’s changed through time, and the opportunities the future offers for river restoration.

Speaker: Jason Gritzner, Hydrologist, Watershed Program Manager, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests.

Door at 5:30, program starts at 6:00 pm. Free. Please consider making a donation at the door.

Upper Deschutes River Volunteer Tree Planting Day

The USFS is looking for volunteers to plant trees along the Deschutes River below Wickiup Dam. Restoring native vegetation is critical to improving the health of the river! The Coalition for the Deschutes is helping round up volunteers. Volunteers will be asked to sign a Forest Service Volunteer waiver. RSVP to Mike Taylor.

When: Thursday, Nov. 1, 9:00 am until the trees are planted or you need to leave.
Meeting Place: The intersection of Forest Road 44 and Burgess Road where the kiosks are located (just east of the Burgess bridge).
Bring: A shovel if you have one, gloves, water, personal items

Rock ‘n River: Upper Deschutes Kayak Trip

Join the Coalition for the Deschutes (CFD) and Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe (TCKC) for a water-based exploration of the Upper Deschutes, from Dillon to Benham Falls and back.

Discover the river with awesome CFD volunteer, volcanologist Dr. Daniele McKay. Daniele will shed light on Central Oregon’s volcanic tantrums of the past and how the Deschutes River and its watershed have responded to eruptions, lava flows, and other geologic events.

Daniele has a PhD in geology from the University of Oregon. She studies volcanic activity and has focused much of her research on Central Oregon volcanoes.

TCKC will provide all the equipment for this trip. Be sure to sign up in advance!

Public Meeting for Swalley Draft Watershed Plan-EA

On September 21, 2018 the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released a Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) for the Swalley Irrigation District Irrigation Modernization Project. The proposed project will pipe 16.6 miles of canals and laterals over seven years to improve water conservation, water delivery reliability, and public safety. NRCS developed the Draft Plan-EA in partnership with Swalley Irrigation District, the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, and Farmers Conservation Alliance. A public meeting will be held to inform the community and gather public comments.

The Draft Plan-EA and appendices with supporting information are available at Limited copies of the Draft Plan-EA are also available at the Deschutes Public Library in Bend, the NRCS office in Redmond, and the Swalley Irrigation District office. View the Notice of Availability and News Release from NRCS.

Comments on the Draft Plan-EA will be accepted through October 24, 2018.  Comments can be submitted in the following ways:

1) At the public meeting

2) Email

3) At this online form

4) Mail to:
Farmers Conservation Alliance
Swalley Watershed Plan
11 3rd St, Suite 101
Hood River, OR 97031

For further information please contact Farmers Conservation Alliance at 541-716-6085.

Please note: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Further information on the public involvement process can be found at the Council of Environmental Quality’s Citizens Guide to NEPA.