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About Recovery

Lower Deschutes Fire Restoration.jpg

In the span of just a few weeks in July 2018, the lower Deschutes River canyon was impacted by 3 fires, which burned 25 miles of the canyon       rim-to-rim, down to the river banks. Over 111,000 acres of cropland, grass, sagebrush, and riparian (the interface between land and a river) habitat in Wasco county and Sherman county was consumed by these fires.

The Foundation is working with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) to raise the funds for a landscape-scale restoration effort on the wildlife management area in the lower Deschutes River.


The need to do this is significant and immediate, as these annual grasses spread rapidly, particularly in a post-fire environment, and hold little nutritional value for wild or domestic animals. Virtually all landowners in the lower river have subscribed to this same plan on their own properties - the only difference is the source of funding to get the work done. A total of 50,000 acres in the lower river are participating in this project, making it one of the largest collaborative efforts of its kind in the western US.

Every dollar counts! The primary source of funding for this project requires a 25% non-Federal match. Your $1 leverages $3 more in this program.

The restoration plan includes seeding in drainages to mitigate erosion; planting shrubs and trees within the riparian zone; and aerial and ground application of restoration herbicide on ~14,000 acres of upland and select areas of lowland, followed by native bunch grass seeding on ~6,000 acres. The latter is aimed at addressing the increasingly alarming spread of non-native invasive annual grasses, primarily cheatgrass and medusahead, within the canyon.

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