Prior to 2005, the 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, an Oregon-based non-profit organization that works to increase the pace and scale of freshwater ecosystem restoration, 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. This resulted in increased in-stream flows for threatened fish species, as well as water to support irrigated agriculture on new lands.
Rob Kirschner 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.
Rob joined The Freshwater Trust as General Counsel in 2014. Since then, he has worked with the organization’s flow restoration team to design and implement projects that benefit both farmers and fish, and he has participated in various state rulemaking efforts around in-stream leasing and water infrastructure funding.
Rob is a 2007 graduate of the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College and holds a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law.
Natasha joined the Deschutes River Conservancy team in 2016. She provides strategic oversight of the organization’s stream flow restoration programs including negotiating stream flow restoration agreements and convening and facilitating stakeholder processes in priority reaches.
Natasha holds a MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana with a focus on collaborative conservation and a JD from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law. Natasha moved to Bend in 2015 from Portland, OR where she worked as the Flow Restoration Director for The Freshwater Trust. Prior to joining the Deschutes River Conservancy, she developed conservation land acquisitions for the Deschutes Land Trust.
Thanks to the Deschutes River Conservancy for their support for this program.
Admission is free; donations accepted at the door.
Join the Coalition for the Deschutes as a monthly donor at this event and receive a free book!
NOTE: You do not need to print tickets for this event; we will have a sign-in sheet at the door.
Cost: Admission is free; donations accepted at the door.
Phone: (253) 218-8534
Event url: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lessons-from-lostine-river-tickets-43182978451
231 NW Idaho St.
Bend, OR 97701