Prior to 2005, Lostine River in northeast Oregon frequently ran dry in late summer, leaving threatened Chinook salmon without passage to critical spawning grounds. Since then, The Freshwater Trust has worked collaboratively with nearly 100 irrigators to restore critical in-stream flows that support this iconic species and the local agricultural economy. Recently, the organization partnered with a local landowner to increase irrigation efficiency on nearly 900 acres of traditionally flood-irrigated land. Rob Kirschner, General Counsel to The Freshwater Trust, will present on the past, present, and future of these cooperative efforts, and offer insights on how conservation groups and irrigators can work together to restore Oregon’s streams.
Following Rob’s presentation, Natasha Bellis with the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) will talk about DRC's partnership with Central Oregon Irrigation District on a Bureau of Reclamation water marketing grant, and how this effort will incorporate some of the same basic principles used in the Lostine deal to share water between irrigation, river, and municipal interests.
Thanks to the Deschutes River Conservancy for their support for this program.