Deschutes Land Trust
The Deschutes Land Trust works cooperatively with landowners to conserve land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities. Since 1995, the Land Trust has conserved more than 7,200 acres of land in the 6.8 million-acre Deschutes River basin. This basin encompasses five river corridors of the Deschutes, Little Deschutes, Crooked, White, and Metolius rivers. The Land Trust works with willing landowners who voluntarily want to conserve their land.
When landowners are interested in conserving their land, they work with the Land Trust to craft an agreement that allows the landowners to keep their land and protect the natural resources forever. Lands considered for protection—including lands important for wildlife habitat, sustainable working lands, or open space for scenic enjoyment—must meet rigorous conservation criteria.
The Land Trust also owns and manages Community Preserves in central Oregon. From a small island preserve in the Deschutes River to a large forested preserve near the Metolius River, these lands are protected for wildlife habitat and for local communities. Anyone can explore the lands, either on a guided tour or on their own. The Land Trust has the support of about 400 volunteers who provide conservation and education services. These volunteers help guide tours, restore native plant communities, maintain trails and interpretive facilities, and conduct ecological surveys.
The Land Trust is continually working on new projects. In 2009, it was leading a community-wide effort to identify and map important natural places in the region and is working on a landmark project to conserve the 33,000-acre Skyline Forest near Bend and Sisters.Written by:Mary Krenowicz
Deschutes Land Trust.