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Deschutes Canyon Currents

May 2022
Buckwheat in full bloom | Tom Iraci
We work to preserve and restore the wild landscapes of the middle Deschutes and lower Crooked Rivers and lower Whychus Creek through advocacy, stewardship and education.
           -FANs of the Deschutes Canyon Area's Mission Statement

New FANs Guide Books for 2022!
By Robin Galloway, FANs president

The Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs) have three new guide books, funded by Conservation Land Foundation (CLF), in the works for 2022. FANs is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization so all proceeds from the sale of the books help support our advocacy, education and stewardship programs in the middle Deschutes and lower Crooked Rivers and lower Whychus Creek. 
Guide to the Common Weeds of the Deschutes Canyon Area is already in your independent bookstores and available online at This book, which covers 70 species of weeds, was authored by FANs members Penny Radtke and Marilynne Keyser.
Guide to the Common Native Plants of the Deschutes Canyon Area is expected to be available in June. This is a second, expanded edition of the 2017 guide book which sold out. The new edition, authored by Marilynne Keyser, will cover almost three times the number of species in the original guide.
Guide to the Common Birds of the Deschutes Canyon Area is expected to be released this summer. This book, which is being written by FANs member Chuck Gates, will cover 100 species of birds. He is a founding Board Member of the East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS) and the author of the “Birding Oregon Site Guide – Over 1100 places to go birding in Oregon” found on the ECAS website,
All of FANs field guides are sold at our website and by these independent bookstores:
Blackbird Tea & Tales-Madras
Herringbone Books-Redmond
Paulina Books-Sisters
Bowman Museum-Prineville
Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe-Bend
Roundabout Books–Bend

In addition to the grants to publish the guidebooks, CLF is funding a hands-on activity pairing FANs members with students from the Redmond Proficiency Academy to mentor and demonstrate how to manage native land restoration.

Guide to Common Weeds of the Deschutes Canyon Area
Authored by FANs members Penny Radtke and Marilynne Keyser

Lens on Learning
Climate Resilience in Central Oregon
by Hal Hershow

Hal Hershow

May 14, 2022, 6:00 pm
Juniper Room, Crooked River Ranch

Seating is limited in the Juniper Room, so registration is required. CLICK HERE to register now on eventbrite. 

Did you know that Oregon has already warmed by 2.75℉ since 1895? And the droughts we experienced from 2000 to 2018 were the second worst Oregon has endured in the last 1200 years? Our climate is already hotter and drier, and we know this trend will continue; but what can we do about it?
Hal Hershow, assistant professor of Geology at Central Oregon Community College, will share inspiring actions that our community is already taking to diminish the worst impacts and adapt to the inevitable change. He will also present opportunities for how we can thrive in a hotter, drier Central Oregon.
Hal focuses on a sustainability-oriented geology curriculum while involving students in climate-related research. He began his geology career with research projects in Peru and Hawaii, before settling at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he monitored groundwater for high explosives and radioactivity and took school children on backyard geology field trips on his off-days. His graduate studies focused on how glaciers in the North Cascades have responded to a changing climate over the last 8,000 years.

Today, he mentors COCC students studying how springs in the Cascades and Ochocos are responding to our changing climate while teaching field trip-focused geology classes such as G162 - Cascade Volcanoes and G 163 - Rivers, Lakes & Springs of Central Oregon.  These classes are open to all members of our community!

Golden Eagle monitoring
By Ilene Smith


One of the great rewards of living near the Deschutes canyon rim is the dawn to dusk epic wildlife viewing opportunities. I’ve been very fortunate this year to witness the courtship, mating and now nesting of our most magnificent raptor, the Golden Eagle. Although it has required some hiking at least weekly with a large spotting scope, it’s been an experience of a lifetime. The spotting scope is necessary to view the birds from a distance in order to ensure they are not disturbed during this very sensitive time.

During some of my monitoring excursions I have witnessed the male and female in the nest together, the male bringing in food for the female, and each taking turns to gently turn the eggs.  On my last visit to the monitoring location, I was able to visually confirm two eggs in the nest as the male and female changed incubation duty. 

Typically, Golden Eagles incubate their eggs for 41 to 45 days, with the eggs hatching late March to early April. I’ve been monitoring them for nearly that time frame and hopefully will have a successful hatch any day now. By the way, the chicks remain in the nest until early June when they begin to fledge.  Stay tuned for an update in the next newsletter to find out if the eggs hatched and how the chicks are doing.

**Update:  the eggs have hatched (see the last photo)!


View from the spotting scope

Male and Female together on nest

Turning the eggs

**Update- One chick looking around

Join Us On A Guided Hike!
Calendar of Hikes in May and June
by Cindy Murray

Alder Springs Trail |Cindy Murray

We are excited to offer many wonderful hiking opportunities for all levels of skill from easy to difficult. Wildflowers, geology, Native American and pioneer history, spectacular scenery and even a NIGHT SKY ADVENTURE are waiting for you! Our volunteer guided hike leaders and co-leaders completed a CPR/First Aid training class offered in April at Sisters Fire Station Community conference room and they are ready to take you on spectacular outings.

Registration is required and the link can be found on FANs website: GUIDED HIKES

We look forward to having you join us this season:

DATE        HIKE                            START/END             LEADER/CO-LEADER

May 4        Lone Pine Trail            9:00am - 1:00pm      Eric Hanson/Jeff Scheetz

May 7        Rimrock Springs          9:00am - 11:00am    Marilynne Keyser/Cindy Murray

May 11      Gray Butte                   9:00am - 1:00pm      Marilynne Keyser/Eric Hanson

May 14      Nest Box Trail              7:30am - 9:30am     Diane Randgaard

May 17      Alder Springs               9:00am - 3:00pm     Cindy Murray

May 18      Evidence of Past         9:00am - 1:00pm      Eric Hanson/Wendy Fink

May 26      Chimney Rock             9:00am - 1:00pm     Marilynne Keyser

June 4       Steelhead Falls           9:00am - 1:00pm     Marilynne Keyser/Nancy Baker

June 8       Gray Butte                   9:00am - 1:00pm     Marilynne Keyser/Eric Hanson

June 15     Scout Camp Trail        9:00am - 12:00pm    Marilynne Keyser/Ilene Smith

June 22     Lookout Mountain       9:00am - 4:00pm      David Vick/Cindy Murray


Lens on Learning 
Identifying Native Plants
By Robin Galloway, FANs President

June 18, 2022, 6:00 pm
Juniper Room, Crooked River Ranch

Seating is limited in the Juniper Room, so registration is required.
To register 30 days before the event  CLICK HERE .


Marilynne Keyser, author of Guide to Common Native Plants of the Deschutes Canyon Area, will be unveiling the second expanded edition of the popular FANs field guide at her presentation (fingers crossed the book will be available by then). The book will be for sale ($12-members; $15-nonmembers), and you can get it autographed by the author after the program.
In this presentation, Marilynne will focus on the beauty and uniqueness of the sagebrush plateau ecosystem and help you to identify the native plants you encounter on your walks around the neighborhood or your hikes into canyon country. She will highlight the size and bloom time of native species and provide suggestions for what would work best in your own native landscape. Her talk will cover native shrubs and bunch grasses as well as wildflowers.
A little bit of botanical knowledge can help in identifying plants, so you can expect a short lesson on taxonomy (why scientific names are so important) and the parts of a flower (key to differentiating flowers that look similar).
Need to practice what you are learning? Spend an hour at the CRR (Crooked River Ranch) Native Interpretive Garden or join Marilynne on one of her June hikes!

Desert Paintbrush (Castilleja chromosa)

Desert Paintbrush (Castilleja chromosa) is one of the most striking plants of the
sagebrush steppe. Although the actual flowers are rather small and non-showy, they bloom amid many red bract-like leaves. The petals fuse into a flower tube that is twice as long as the bracts. This perennial is often found growing on talus slopes with sagebrush.

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva)

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) is a complete surprise when you find the beautiful, delicate, many-petaled, white to deep rose flower appearing to grow right out of the ground. By the time this happens, the fleshy finger-like green leaves have completely disappeared. This perennial grows in rocky soils, often along the canyon rims.

Carey's Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana)

Carey’s Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana), a large late spring perennial, can grow to 2 feet tall. It produces flowering stems of equal lengths with one large composite yellow flower. The huge leaves, which are alternate on the stem, are shiny green and heart-shaped with an obvious white central vein. It can be differentiated from arrowleaf balsamroot by the lack of woolly bracts behind the flowerhead. Carey’s balsamroot is the only balsamroot found in the middle Deschutes Canyon sagebrush plateau.

Bitterbrush (Pushia tridentata)   

Bitterbrush (Pushia tridentata) is a medium-tall, extensively branched shrub with rigid stems. The small olive-green leaves are wedged-shaped with three lobes at the end of the leaf. They look a bit like sagebrush leaves, only these are not fuzzy. Many tiny, tubular, pale yellow flowers grow along the stems. Often the lower section of taller plants looks completely dead due to constant browsing by deer who depend on it in the winter. This perennial prefers somewhat moist soils.

Knapweed Removal Work Party

WHERE:        Extreme north end of McKenzie Canyon
WHEN:          Saturday, May 14, 2022; 9:00am to 1:00pm
RATING:        Moderate; 4 miles hiking, some off-trail; 200 feet vertical gain/loss 
GUIDES:       Jeff Scheetz and Marilynne Keyser
REGISTER:   CLICK HERE to sign up on Eventbrite (Limit 8 volunteers)

If you feel ready for a meaningful challenge, join Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs) members for a remote area spotted knapweed removal project. The affected patch is a riparian strip along the Middle Deschutes River at the extreme north end of McKenzie Canyon directly across from Riffle Rd in Crooked River Ranch. We have obtained permission for hiking on mostly private land to this infrequently visited area. The path to the river is bounded by interesting canyon wall formations, and the steep drop down to the river follows an old ranch irrigation pipeline, adjacent to a spring-fed gully. There will be spring wildflowers which we will point out along the way.

Our hike is about 2 miles to the site; however, we will be carrying our tools. This area was treated in 2019 and 2021, so we will primarily be digging up the rosettes before they have a chance to bloom. They can be left in place. 

Workers need to bring old clothes, gloves, sturdy footwear, lunch, water, backpacks, sun protection, and a favorite digging tool. Hiking poles are useful on steeper slopes. FANs will provide extra shovels if you need one.  

From CRR: Turn left on NW Lower Bridge Way. Past the turn-off for Faith, Hope, Charity Winery, watch for mile marker 10 on right.  Continue on NW Lower Bridge Way, pass driveway with stone pillars on right.  Turn right at next gravel road, 3 mailboxes, 5 green/white address numbers with 71170 at bottom. Continue east on gravel road, staying right at Y.  Pass through open metal, solar livestock gate.  Right at 71170 sign, continue downhill to parking area near woodpile & garage. Please be there by 9:00 am as we will begin our hike no later than 9:15 am.

Knapweed rosette

Knapweed bloom

Knapweed mature plant

FANs Presents the Weed of the Month
Tumble Mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum)

By Penny Radtke, FANs Invasive Weed Consultant

Tumble mustard is an annual that germinates in winter or early spring. The rosettes, which are appearing right now, consist of elongated leaves that are flat to the ground, deeply lobed, and have a prominent white vein in the center.  As it grows taller, reaching up to 4 feet, tumble mustard becomes rangy-looking with lots of branched stems and smaller, more needle-like leaves. The small yellow flowers bloom all summer.  After maturity, the plant breaks off and scatters seeds as it tumbles in the wind. Removing the plant in the rosette stage is effective for small populations.  Large patches of tumble mustard are difficult to eradicate due to the number of seeds in the soil. Contact county weed control or a certified sprayer.

For questions, or to schedule a weed consultation on your property, contact me at Consultations are $40 for non-members,  $30 for members, and include our new book:  Guide to Common Weeds of the Deschutes Canyon Area.

         Tumble mustard rosette

Mature Tumble mustard weed

Earth Day Cleanup 
By Jeff Scheetz, FANs Stewardship coordinator

Deschutes Wild & Scenic River Area Focus of FANs Clean-up Once Again!

Have you ever been enjoying the wonders of nature while hiking in the wild, and then stumble upon a pile of trash? This disgusting scenario repeats itself far too often on our public lands. 

On April 23rd, in celebration of Earth Day, 13 members of Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs) expended 70 volunteer hours collecting trash in the Wild & Scenic River area (W&SR) section of the Deschutes River south of Lower Bridge Way. This area contains many illegal spur roads into the protected land along the canyon rim. After some reconnaissance hikes, we identified about a dozen sites for clean-up. Typical trash (estimated at 40 large bags total) included beverage containers, food packaging material, auto parts, and clothing. Surprisingly, major appliances (washing machine and TV) were found and presented some additional transport challenges.  

With the approval of BLM (Bureau of Land Management), one new tool used by FANs this year was the addition of two ATVs and a small utility trailer, owned and operated by Robin Galloway, FANs president, and her husband Mike. They used the quads to access areas which were too rugged to get into with regular vehicles. The volunteers picked up and bagged trash, then Galloways were able to collect the bags and take them to the main staging area. Along the way, they cleaned out every trash filled fire ring! BLM also provided trash bags and trucks to assist in collection along the one legal road and hauled everything to a landfill. 

FANs has been working with public land managers for years to mitigate such abuse on public lands. We believe public education is a first and necessary step to stem the frequency of mistreated sites. Placing “NO Motor Vehicle” signs plays an important role here and can be readily accomplished by volunteers. To combat the persistent violators, physical barriers on illegal roads are unfortunately required. Lastly, law enforcement action (citations and fines) can impact public perception of risks resulting from unlawful behavior.

We wish to thank all volunteers, acting individually or in groups, for helping preserve our fragile environment through education, outreach and stewardship.

Jeff Scheetz giving a safety briefing

Mike Galloway cleaning out a trash filled fire pit

FANs president Robin Galloway and BLM ranger Bruce Amsbary survey the day's result

Your Membership Keeps FANs Strong

FANs has remained strong and focused through the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are excited to move forward in 2022 and beyond.   Your membership, participation and financial donations are vital to the health and success of FANs…. your local conservation organization!

FANs membership begins at $10 per person per year.  We are grateful to so many FANs members that generously give more.

To renew, print this form and mail it with your check to:

FANs,  P.O. Box 2127,  Terrebonne, OR 97760

Or visit our website,, to donate online and complete an online membership form.  

If you have membership questions, please contact Sue Combs, FANs Treasurer and Database Manager, at 541-604-0280 or

Support FANs with
Tru Earth
Eco-Friendly Products


FANs members can now order from Tru Earth, a provider of ECO-FRIENDLY LAUNDRY DETERGENT STRIPS.... and MORE.  If you are interested in reducing plastic waste and using earth-healthy products, check out Tru Earth supporting FANs website.

FANs receives 20% of the retail sales price whenever you order from this website.  You can access it by clicking on the Get Involved and Support FANs Through Purchases tabs at


Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area
is proud to be a part of

Friends Grassroots Network


Board Meeting Schedule
Our next board meeting will be May 15, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. at the home of Robin and Mike Galloway.  Please email if you would like to attend this board meeting.

Save the date! All fans members annual meeting and party at the Heritage House on June 25.

FANs Board of Directors
Our all-volunteer Board of Directors focuses on our mission: Preserve and restore the wild landscapes of the middle Deschutes and lower Crooked Rivers and lower Whychus Creek through advocacy, stewardship and education. 

You can read more about our Board of Directors and Leadership Team by clicking here.


FANs is a 501-C-3 Nonprofit Organization  EIN #45-4986167

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Our mailing address is:
Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area
PO Box 2127
Terrebonne, OR 97760
541.771.FANS (3267)

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Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area · PO Box 2127 · Terrebonne, OR 97760-2127 · USA

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