Archives : 2015 : February

Local Rancher Credits Whychus Creek Conservation Efforts with Spectacular Harvest

February 12th, 2015

“If someone were to have asked me five years ago: What would be your fantasy addition to your ranch? I would have said a center-pivot irrigation system that would improve my crop and save water. But I never thought I could afford one – until I talked to folks from the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Deschutes River Conservancy.”

Cris Converse, Pine Meadow Ranch

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Central Oregon ranchers and environmental groups often have very different perspectives. But last year, I harvested the best hay crop I have ever seen thanks to a water conservation project on Whychus Creek.

If you ask any farmer or rancher like myself, we would all say the same thing about water: keep it flowing for us. That’s why I was skeptical when I started hearing about water conservation ideas that would impact my ranch.

But then I realized we agreed on something: inefficient irrigation systems don’t benefit anyone. Ranchers and fish both lose. So we worked together and removed a dam on Whychus Creek,
constructed a new irrigation pump and installed a center-pivot.
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