Category : Fundraising

Three 2016 River Successes You Need to Know About

December 22nd, 2016

We are here because we love the Deschutes River. Our local rivers give life to an otherwise arid, high desert climate. No matter who we are, we are all connected to the river, and therefore, to each other.
By working together with farmers, fisherman and urban communities, we have done great things.
Central Oregon’s rivers have seen some hopeful successes in 2016. We’d like to thank our partners, supporters and funders who have helped:

  • Restore water back to the Middle Deschutes. Through your support of our Leasing Program, 2135 acres and 10,180 acre-feet of water were protected instream from April through October, with protected peak flows of up to 31.15 cfs from mid-May to mid-September.
  • Increase Minimum Winter Flows in the Upper Deschutes. The Oregon Spotted Frog Settlement Agreement has ensured a permanent increase in winter flows raising the minimum from 20 cfs to 100 cfs. This is a first step toward further flow restoration we hope to accomplish through continued partnership and collaboration within the basin.
  • Improve Conditions for Salmon and Steelhead in Whychus Creek. Increased flows through piping and partner-led habitat restoration work have improved summer flows for Salmon and Steelhead in Whychus Creek.

We want to sincerely thank all of you who have supported the Deschutes River this year. We need the river—and now, the river needs us. We pledge to work together to care for the river today and for generations to come!
Join us in continuing to restore the Deschutes River and its tributaries in 2017. By working together, we really can do great things!


“Together we can do great things,” says DRC Exec. Dir. Tod Heisler

December 15th, 2016

From the Desk of the Executive Director, Tod Heisler

This year has been unpredictable for many reasons. Water supply, climate change and politics have all been top of mind.

As we enter uncertain times, it is important for us to work together as a community. To keep calling for the protection of our beautiful places. To keep educating our children about the value of nature.

In my family, we have all pledged to do everything we can to protect the beautiful world we live in.

In the Deschutes Basin, we have been working to set aside our differences and find solutions for water conservation where we can all win – fish, families and farmers.

Though we’ve been successfully working at this for twenty years, today we need your help more than ever.

Restoration of the Upper Deschutes is our greatest undertaking and affects our entire region. We can’t do this without community support.

We need you to pledge your support to restoring the Deschutes River. We need you to pledge to do everything you can to conserve water and educate others.

Please join us in being a river supporter. The only way we will see healthy flows in the Upper Deschutes is by pulling together.

Together we can do great things!


A Step in the Right Direction for the Upper Deschutes

December 7th, 2016
The Upper Deschutes shown closer to town at 553 cfs after recharge from tributaries and springs. Flows out of Wickiup are currently 103 cfs.

The Upper Deschutes shown closer to town at 553 cfs after recharge from tributaries and springs. Flows out of Wickiup are currently 103 cfs.

Beginning this winter, the Deschutes River will flow at a minimum of 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) from September 16th to March 30th. The river community is celebrating the addition of this water to critically low winter flows that have dropped to as low as 20 cfs in past years.

“It’s unfortunate that these results were achieved through litigation,” said DRC Executive Director, Tod Heisler. “While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t solve the long-term flow issues that face the Deschutes River. We see this 100 cfs as a foundation for further flow restoration and we sincerely hope that additional flows can be restored through continued partnership and collaboration within the basin.”

This initial flow increase is the result of a recent settlement agreement in the Oregon spotted frog litigation involving WaterWatch, Center for Biological Diversity, Bureau of Reclamation and five local irrigation districts – Arnold, Central Oregon, Lone Pine, North Unit and Tumalo.

Irrigators have also agreed to leave 600 cfs instream in the Upper Deschutes River for the first half of April to support Oregon spotted frog breeding and habitat. Additionally, Crescent Creek will now flow at a minimum of 30 cfs and levels in Crane Prairie Reservoir will remain more stable to benefit existing frog populations living along the reservoir’s edge.

The settlement agreement will be in place through July 2017. After that time, additional agreements between the irrigation districts and the federal agencies are expected to continue to increase minimum winter flows in the future. The goal of the Deschutes River Conservancy is to protect a minimum of 300 cfs of winter flows in the Upper Deschutes, or ultimately enough water to restore a functioning upper Deschutes River.

A large scale basin study scheduled to conclude in 2018 will provide key information needed to create long-term cooperative solutions that will both restore the Deschutes and benefit water users for the future. Because climate change is increasingly impacting the timing and supply of water, we need to place great importance and care on how we manage and use water in Central Oregon.

The DRC believes there is enough water for all if we continue to manage this precious resource with forward thinking solutions.

Give to the Flow – Blue Water mailers come out in Avion bills this month

July 30th, 2013

Avion Water customers can make an easy contribution to the Deschutes River Conservancy through our Blue Water Program. Avion customers can opt in to make a monthly contribution by filling out the Blue Water form coming out in their August billing.

Every dollar you donate through the Blue Water program goes directly to the DRC to support streamflow restoration on the Deschutes River during the summer irrigation season when flows are critically low. Just $1.00 per month can put 46,550 gallons of water back in the River!


We’re Better Together

November 22nd, 2012

During this time of year, people tend to reflect on what they are grateful for. The Deschutes River Conservancy is a 100% consensus-based organization working on restoring flows to the  streams of Central Oregon. As you can imagine, this is no small feat! To continue finding water solutions that work for everyone, we rely on our tremendous partners, local irrigation districts, governmental agencies, funders, donors and our dedicated board.

When we think about gratitude, all these individuals and groups come to mind. At this time of year, when we all take time to give thanks, we would like to sincerely thank all those who make our restoration work possible. One drop at a time, you are making a difference for generations to come!


Laura Gibson croons “Down by the River”

October 20th, 2012

The third session in the Deschutes Brewery’s Deschutes River Recordings series presents Laura Gibson with a spiritual cliffside take on “Down by The Riverside.” The pairing dovetails nicely with the themes explored in her latest album La Grande. The video’s eclectic makeup teases at La Grande’s lush explorations of vocal layers, organ, vibraphone, synthesizer, marimba, even marching drum. Simple solo finger-picking set momentarily aside, Gibson has arrived at a conflux of old-time and avant garde all her own.

Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper lends his talents to support the Deschutes River

October 1st, 2012

The second in the series of Deschutes River Recordings by the Deschutes Brewery was released today. Blitzen Trapper‘s singer, Eric Earley, puts his own spin on The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek,” filmed on the exquisite grounds at House on the Metolius. Hailing from Portland, Eric Earley and Blitzen Trapper, capture the sound of nostalgia and American roots while lending their considerable talents to restoration efforts in the Deschutes River.

First Eric D. Johnson of the Fruitbats, now Eric Earley! We can’t wait to see the third video in the series, due to be released shortly. Stay tuned! As always, download for free or donate what you can. Proceeds benefit the Deschutes River Conservancy‘s restoration efforts in the Deschutes Basin.


The Deschutes Brewery launches the Deschutes River Recordings to benefit the Deschutes River

September 19th, 2012

Eric D. Johnson sings “Ballad of Easy Rider” on the banks of the Deschutes River. The first in a series of Deschutes River Recordings produced by the Deschutes Brewery.

Here at Deschutes River Conservancy, we are lucky to have the outstanding support of many companies in our community. On the heels of pledging to restore one billion gallons of water to the river for the next few years, Deschutes Brewery has come up with a creative way to provide the DRC with additional support and it is called “Deschutes River Recordings”.

Here’s how Deschutes River Recordings was born:

  • The brewery issued a call to its fans – otherwise called “advisory board members” – to choose songs with a river theme through an online voting process.
  • Next, the brewery teamed up with indie artists to record the selected songs. The musicians traveled to Central Oregon and recorded the music “streamside high-wire: live, unadorned, far from a studio safety net”, resulting in a completely unique sound blending acoustic tunes with the sounds of nature.
  • A partnership with popular music site,, was formed and implemented to help promote the new recordings.
  • Fans can download the songs for free, but are able to make a donation if they desire. Proceeds from downloads of this new music benefit the Deschutes River Conservancy, which is working to preserve streamflows and health of the river in Central Oregon.

The first music video in the Deschutes River Recordings lineup was released today, 9/12. It features artist Eric D Johnson of the popular Chicago-and-then-Oregon-based band The Fruit Bats. He’s belting it out on the banks of the Deschutes River with a little help from a keyboard, some rushing rapids and a squirrel or two. Here’s the direct link.

Two more recordings are coming up in the next few weeks, featuring Laura Gibson and also Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper.

We are so excited about this project and it truly represents a community collaboration to help support our important mission. We hope fans of the brewery, indie music and the river all go online to download this one-of-a-kind music and make a donation to the DRC.

The Deschutes River Conservancy’s 2012 RiverFeast: Dining for Streamflow Restoration

August 8th, 2012

The sweeping views from the Burgess’ home at Ranch of the Canyons.


This past Saturday, the Deschutes River Conservancy celebrated our 6th Annual RiverFeast Benefit Dinner at the magnificent home of  Bob and Carolyn Burgess at Ranch at the Canyons. Guests enjoyed the vocal styling of Lori Fletcher’s Deco Moon Jazz while mingling with friends in front of sweeping views of the Crooked River and Smith Rock.  After a sumptuous dinner served by the Deschutes Brewery, Becky Johnson, Vice-President of OSU-Cascades, spoke to the crowd about higher education possibilities based on the DRC’s collaborative restoration model. The evening’s activities ended with a water auction fundraiser for the DRC. This year’s event truly was a distinctive gathering at a magnificent location to bask in the beauty and significance of our local rivers and streams!

Susan Lucky HIgdon’s “Crooked River Canyon,” the artwork for this year’s RiverFeast.


 A special thank you to:

Bank of the Cascades, 2012 RiverFeast Title Sponsor

We would also like to thank:

Bob and Carolyn Burgess, Susan Lucky Higdon, Becky Johnson of OSU-Cascades, Kristi Miller of Good Morning Central Oregon Deschutes Brewery, Lange Estate Winery, Lori Fletcher’s Deco Moon Jazz, Tabletop Rentals, Elevation Tent Rentals









Support the DRC in a very simple way!

May 21st, 2012

Buy a button for only $10 and give back to the river you love.

Healthy rivers and streams are a vital part of our quality of life here in Central Oregon as well as a legacy we leave behind for our children and grandchildren. The DRC has many ways to give back to the rivers and streams you love, and this year’s button campaign is an accessible way for everyone to do their part to ensure the beauty of the Deschutes Basin endures for generations to come. Buy your button today at the Deschutes Brewery Pubs in Bend and Portland, Deschutes Brewery’s Tasting Room, Visit Bend, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, The DRC Office, and most Bend Broadband summer event booths.

As a thank you for your support, your button gives you all kinds of discounts from great local businesses.