A Shared Vision for the Deschutes River

Announcing key collaboration between Central Oregon river advocates and local irrigators on goals that benefit farms and fish

The Coalition for the Deschutes, a non-profit river-advocacy group based in Bend, Oregon, and the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC), comprising the eight irrigation districts of Central Oregon, are proud to announce that they have jointly developed and signed a memorandum entitled: “A Shared Vision for the Deschutes: Working Together so Families, Farms, and Fish can Thrive.”

To date, other organizations endorsing the “Shared Vision for the Deschutes” memorandum include the Deschutes River Conservancy, Trout Unlimited Deschutes Redbands, Sunriver Anglers, Oregon Environmental Council and the Wild River Owners Association.

This diverse set of stakeholders commit to working together as partners and embrace the goals of having:

  • A healthy, restored Deschutes River
  • Thriving farms and sustainable agriculture
  • Robust and vibrant communities

The strategic agreement aligns the shared interests of the parties to maintain irrigated agriculture in Central Oregon and restore the Upper Deschutes River to a healthy ecological condition.

“The Deschutes River is essential to all facets of our culture and economy. Farmers, recreationists, hunters and anglers, businesses, fish and wildlife, and the Central Oregon community all benefit from a healthy river and sustainable agriculture. The Shared Vision grew out of our work together and recognizes that the fastest way to restore flows to the Upper Deschutes River is for us to work together,” said Gail Snyder, executive director of the Coalition for the Deschutes. 

“Irrigation districts have been doing conservation projects for many years and we are committed to helping improve conditions for the Upper Deschutes,” said Mike Britton, DBBC chair and general manager of North Unit Irrigation District. “The districts are working toward modern, efficient irrigation systems that divert less water from streams and rivers and deliver more reliable water to farms.” 

Bobby Brunoe, Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) board chair, said that the DRC board passed a resolution last year outlining how Central Oregon Irrigation District and North Unit Irrigation District will partner for the benefit of irrigated agriculture and the Deschutes River. He said, “We are encouraged by innovative problem-solving being undertaken by COID and NUID. As conservation occurs, water will be made available to NUID and they agree to protect an equal amount instream below Wickiup Reservoir.”

Craig Horrell, general manager of Central Oregon Irrigation District, said, “This is an exciting time in the Deschutes Basin and we look forward to more organizations, businesses and individuals being part of this initiative to conserve water and restore the Deschutes River.”

Businesses, nonprofits and individuals are invited to co-sign the Shared Vision for the Deschutes memo. Contact Gail Snyder.

About Coalition for the Deschutes: Coalition for the Deschutes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Deschutes River. Learn more at www.coalitionforthedeschutes.org

About the DBBC: The Deschutes Basin Board of Control includes eight irrigation districts in Oregon’s Deschutes Basin. The districts supply water throughout the Deschutes Basin to 8,700 patrons across 155,662 acres. Visit www.dbbcirrigation.com.

Source: Coalition for the Deschutes


Categories: Environmental Protection, Hunting and Fishing, Environmentalism

Tags: Bend, Coalition, Deschutes, Deschutes River, Farms, Fish, Oregon, Restoration, River, Vision, Wild and Scenic River, Wildlife

About CoalitionfortheDeschutes

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The Coalition for the Deschutes is working for the restoration and protection of the Deschutes River and its watershed through education and advocacy so that fish, communities and wildlife can thrive and future generations can enjoy its benefits.

Gail Snyder
Executive Director, CoalitionfortheDeschutes
PO Box 1589
Bend, OR 97709
United States