UDRC Holiday Message

Happy Holidays to all our Upper Deschutes River Coalition residents, businesses and partners!!! 2017 was a year of change for the Upper Deschutes River Coalition. These changes included:

• New leadership team
• New organization direction
• Creation and implementation of new programs
• Technology and communication
• Forming partnerships with new organizations and strengthening relationships with existing partners
• Creating a more flexible and responsive organizational structure

Leadership Team

A new Chairperson/President – Monte Dammarell, Vice President – Dean Richardson, Secretary – Jerry Hubbard, Treasurer – Aaron Schofield, Public/Private Lands Committee Co-chairpersons – Dean Richardson and Jim Larsen

Organization direction

The new Leadership Team reviewed the past, current and future accomplishments and determine the Upper Deschutes River Coalition could better serve our constituents by refocusing our efforts from being hands-on project oriented to a more communication and facilitation centric organization. The UDRC provides information so that area citizens can make informed opinions and decisions.

Creation and Implementation of new programs

It was determined the Upper Deschutes River Coalition could continue providing capital resources to assist area landowners needing fire fuel reduction treatments with current restricted renewable grant funding. This program has proved very successful!! Please visit the www.udrc.org website for information regarding the program. Additionally a new program is being created to assist low income seniors and disabled residents in creating defensible space in 2018.

Technology and communication

The Upper Deschutes River Coalition efforts have been in upgrading current print media and electronic communication sources. The desired goal is to provide current information about events, projects, and actions affecting our region. These upgrades include updating the UDRC website, Facebook, Next Door Neighbor, UDRC E-News, and our extensive email list. We are also submitting articles and announcements in the local print media including: The Sunriver Scene, Newberry Eagle, Bend Bulletin, and The Source Weekly.

Strengthening existing partnerships and reaching out to new partners

The Upper Deschutes River Coalition strength has historically been the strong partnerships with the various agencies and organizations managing and maintaining our beautiful environment. The UDRC will strive to further these partnerships and seek out new partners. The UDRC will work with our partners in facilitating events, meetings, and information.

Creating a more flexible and responsive organization

Since the Upper Deschutes River Coalition formed in 2004 the structure of the Board of Directors has been somewhat confusing and restricted in decision making. The Board was comprised of 1 representative from each Homeowner Association, Road District, and neighborhood (those without an HOA or Road District) for a total of 22 +/- representatives. The bylaws stated any decisions made by the BOD required a meeting quorum or at least 50% of the BOD present before a vote could be taken. Many times motions could not be made due to an insufficient quorum. Thus the Leadership Team presented a proposal changing the bylaws to reflect a new BOD structure. The November BOD meeting, having a quorum present, approved changing the bylaws. The new BOD will be composed of 9-11 members, including the Leadership Team, 2-3 committee leaders, and 3-4 at large members. The current BOD has approved these changes. Nominations for 2018 are being accepted for officers, committee chairs, and at-large directors.

Reducing the number of BOD members also effectively reduces the voices for each neighborhood. The Leadership Team recognized this situation and proposes creating a network of Neighborhood Coordinators or Ambassadors or Liaisons. Each Board member would be assigned neighborhoods and keep the coordinators updated on information from our partners and residents. The coordinators would then disseminate the information to their neighborhoods and provide the BOD any feedback.

The Upper Deschutes River Coalition will have monthly meetings at the Sunriver Library on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. The meetings are designed to be informational with 1 or 2 guest speakers. The annual business meeting will be conducted at a fall meeting (September, October, or November). There will also be 2 presentations with local experts addressing issues affecting our area during the year.

I know this is a lot of information to digest. Hopefully it will give you an idea of the commitment the Upper Deschutes River Coalition continues making to our community. I would like to encourage you to get involved with the organization. The goal is “many hands making small work.” If you are interested in getting involved or would like more information about the Upper Deschutes River Coalition please contact me.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!!!

Monte Dammarell

USFS Upper Deschutes Riparian Habitat Restoration Project

This project would restore riparian areas along the upper Deschutes River, downstream of the Wickiup Dam that have been impacted by heavy dispersed recreation to the natural character through subsoiling, seeding and planting native species.

This project would take place along sections of the Upper Deschutes River between Wickiup Dam and FS Road 43 (Burgess Road).

Click here for project documents.

Puma Stewardship Contract work beginning next week

The Puma stewardship contract includes a large portion of the Upper Deschutes River WUI fuels reduction project units. The flagging, tags and painted trees have been in place for over a year and I am sure many residents are familiar with the units. One of the first areas they will start work in is north of Spring River road, between Spring River and the Deschutes River. Puma also includes all of the units to the west of DRRH 1-5, DRRH 9, Sundance, River Meadows and Cougar Grove neighborhoods. There is also some work along Foster Road and west of Fall River Estates. People can call or e-mail with any questions.

Alex Enna

Click to view Puma map. This large map that takes several seconds to load.

Slash pile burning along Hwy 97

 Newberry division plans to continue burning piles at the following locations today. Smoke and fire will be visible to the public along Hwy 97 between Vandervert and State Rec Roads.
Lavacast 70 – 77 Acres – Highway 97 between Vandervert and State Rec Road, east of Hwy 97.
Lavacast 72 – 67 Acres – Highway 97 between Vandervert and State Rec Road, west of Hwy 97.

USFS Lex Vegetation Management Project Environmental Assessment

The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District on the Deschutes National Forest has the Lex Vegetation Management Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) available for 30-day comment. The attached letter provides a brief summary of the project and information on the official 30-day public comment period.  The EA may be accessed at the Deschutes National Forest website at: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47203. A copy of this EA is available by request at the address on the letter, or by contacting the project leader.

Anyone wishing to obtain additional information on the project should contact Alicia Underhill by email, aunderhill@fs.fed.us or by phone at (541) 383- 4012.

Central Oregon Canal historic listing

The State Advisory Commission on Historic Preservation is accepting comments listing the section of the Central Oregon Canal between Ward and Gosney Roads as historic. Attached is a comment submitted by Gail Snyder of the Coalition for the Deschutes providing some explanation of the historic registration:
Coalition for the Deschutes comment
The following attachment is a large pdf file containing information about this proposed historic listing:
Historic Listing Application

After reviewing these documents please send a letter to ian.johnson@state.or.us of the State Advisory Commission on Historic Preservation with your comments. Comments close on 10-14-2017, but since that is a Saturday, it’s important that comments be submitted today. Please feel free to personalize or paraphrase Gail’s letter if that will help you comment.

The Upper Deschutes River Coalition does not advocate a position on issues affecting our area. However, we do strongly advocate responses from all residents, landowners, and businesses in Southern Deschutes County to issues affecting our environment.

Monte Dammarell
UDRC Chairperson

Beyond Wildfire and Smoke: How can forest restoration help?

The Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project and our U.S. Forest Service partners invite you to spend an afternoon in the forest, learning and discussing the important forest restoration work going on around us and how it is helping make our communities and firefighters safer in the face of wildfires and our forests healthier for us and for the plants and animals that live there.

Itinerary: Thursday September 28, 2017

  • 1:00 pm meet at GoodLife Brewing to board the bus
  • 1:15 pm – 5:00pm Field Tour
  • 5:00 – 6:00 Goodlife Brewery Social (no-host bar, appetizers provided)

Space is limited, please RSVP by September 15, 2017.

Click here to register

Fuels Reduction slows Milli Fire

The forest ecosystems of the east Cascades of Central Oregon are complex. All of them are forests that are historically adapted to fire. Because we need stronger, healthier forests and we need to protect lives and property from fire, the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project has been working on a fuels reduction plan. That plan and active work in reduction and mitigation earlier this year helped protect the communities nearest the Milli Fire.