Archives : Crooked River
From the Desk of the Executive Director, Tod Heisler
In 2011, the Deschutes River Conservancy surpassed the state’s 20 cfs flow target on the upper reach of Whychus Creek, a feat never before achieved on any stream in Oregon. Reaching this goal, established by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, was successful thanks to the cooperation of private landowners and Three Sisters Irrigation District.
These remarkable accomplishments are only possible when parties of seemingly different interests find common ground and work together. Along these same lines, 2011 saw the start of a landmark agreement between the DRC and North Unit Irrigation District to restore flows in the Crooked River while providing the district significant savings in pumping costs. The project will enhance habitat for reintroduced steelhead and salmon and will assure a better water supply for Central Oregon’s most productive commercial farmers.
It is our partnerships of which we are most proud – partnerships not only to restore streamflows and improve water quality, but also to provide municipal water supply, restore streamside vegetation and fish passage and to conserve critical lands. Together, the DRC and its partners are making historic change in our precious watersheds throughout the Deschutes River Basin. And 2011 was another great year.
This winter, we broke ground with North Unit Irrigation District on the first phase of the largest streamflow restoration initiative in Oregon’s history. When completed, this initiative will restore up to 190 cubic feet per second of streamflow to the Crooked River running through Smith Rock State Park. This reach of the Crooked River has historically suffered from poor water quality and a degraded ecosystem. This initiative will benefit the region’s agricultural economy while permanently improving conditions for fish, wildlife, and recreation.