Mission and History

Since 1996, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council (UDWC) has worked to protect and restore the 2,000,000-acre upper Deschutes River watershed through collaborative projects in watershed restoration, monitoring and community awareness. With local support from landowners, ranchers, environmental interests, local citizens, and representatives from local governments and agencies, we lead cooperative, grass-roots efforts to improve watershed conditions. This grass-roots approach ensures that a balance of affected and interested stakeholders is involved to craft effective management strategies for our watersheds.

Watershed councils are locally organized, voluntary groups established to protect and restore local watersheds in support of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds. Most watershed councils, including the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, were organized following the Oregon Legislature’s unanimous passage of House Bill 3441 which established guidance for the formation of watershed councils in Oregon.

Since becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1997, we have brought more than $11 million to watershed restoration and education projects in the Upper Deschutes watershed. Although 60% of this funding has been provided by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, we rely upon local support from cities, counties, federal agencies, districts and other partners to fund many projects and programs.

Our Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who share a common commitment to working collaboratively toward watershed restoration. A full-time staff oversees projects and additional volunteers contribute time, expertise and resources for specific projects and overall organizational efforts.