Major issues impacting our river ecosystems include reduced and fragmented habitat for native wildlife, changes to stream flows, degraded water quality, and impaired upland habitat. Native populations of threatened fish and other wildlife—as well as our own communities—depend on our addressing these issues through restoration and proper management.
The Middle Deschutes Watershed Council’s Restoration Action Plan advances our mission to improve the health of the Willow Creek and Trout Creek watersheds—while supporting a sustainable economy—through actions such as native plantings, channel realignments, juniper removals, and replacing culverts with bridges.
Our Past Projects
Western juniper is a natural part of our landscape in Central Oregon, but the suppression of wildfires in the last century has led to a major expansion of juniper and a consequent reduction in groundwater recharge and vegetation diversity. This 2015 project sought to reduce juniper dominance in the Crooked River National Grasslands.
Riparian vegetation is important for many reasons: it prevents erosion along stream banks, keeps water cool enough for fish and other wildlife, and filters runoff from the surrounding landscape before it enters a stream. See how this 2004 project restored riparian vegetation to a stretch of Trout Creek and view the changes in habitat over time.
Return of the Beaver
Beavers are well known for their construction of dams and lodges and the wetlands created by their structures. These creatures are masterful engineers, and they play an important role in maintaining healthy watersheds for everyone. After a 2008 channel restoration project in our watershed, beavers have made a reappearance.