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Deschutes Canyon Currents
April 2021
Paintbrush and phlox species bloom in the Deschutes Canyon Area / 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

FANs Volunteers Tackle Trash Along the
Middle Deschutes Canyon Rim
Marilynne Keyser, FANs President

Thirty amazing volunteers turned out on Earth Day to cleanup over 40 acres of the Wild and Scenic Middle Deschutes River corridor south of Lower Bridge Road near Crooked River Ranch. This area is open to walk-in, ride-in and bike-in dispersed camping, but it is closed to all motor vehicles.  The restrictions have existed since the Middle Deschutes River was designated a Wild and Scenic River by Congress many years ago.

The Covid crisis, combined with increased numbers of people experiencing homelessness and the huge increase in recreational use, has been devastating to the delicate ecosystems along the Deschutes River.  Recently the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), with help from FANs, put up signs on many unauthorized access roads created by motor vehicles to notify users of existing restrictions and nearby areas that are open to vehicles. 

FANs sponsored this Earth Day event as part of our newest stewardship priority: to monitor areas within the Steamboat Rock Recreation Area, report damage and abuse to BLM, and help clean up the area and educate recreational users about the existing motorized vehicle restrictions in some areas.

There is now signage to educate folks about this particular section of the Wild & Scenic Middle Deschutes River; however, the signs are being removed or ignored.  The BLM will be placing large boulders at the unauthorized entrances created by illegal vehicles, followed by appropriate fencing to allow hikers, bikers and equestrians to access the area.  Dispersed camping has always been allowed, though it is limited to two weeks and you can’t drive in to camp along the Deschutes River Rim.

Read more in the front page story of the Bend Bulletin.

View KTVZ's news story.


Volunteers picked up and hauled trash out of the Wild and Scenic Middle Deschutes River rim.
Photos: Marilynne Keyser

So Many Guided Hikes to Join!
Find One That's Right for You
Cindy Murray, Hiking Coordinator
We are pleased to offer a wide variety of hikes this spring.  All guided hikes are free. To help reduce damage to the trail, minimize social impacts on other visitors, and protect wildlife habitat, group size is limited to a total of 8 hikers (including guides) and pets are not allowed. Registration opens one month before each hike.  If the hike is full, sign up on the wait list, and you will be notified if a space becomes available.  If you have to cancel, send us an email at  This will open up the space for another hiker.  Standard COVID precautions will be in effect.  Maintain six feet of distance from other participants and bring a face mask to wear if temporary physical spacing requires it.

Foley Waters
Wednesday, April 28, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Rating: Moderate, 2.5-mile loop
Guide: Eric Hanson
We will follow lesser known paths with a bit of cross country travel. Our adventure will include spring “greenies and growies,” a touch of local history (who the heck is Foley Waters?), a fraudulent gold mine, Deschutes River access, some local geology.
This hike is full with a long wait list.

Tam-a-lau Trail
Thursday, April 29, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Rating: Moderate, 7-mile loop
Guide: Cindy Murray
This outing will offer spectacular views of Lake Billy Chinook and the entire Cascade range. The trail begins at the Upper Deschutes day use area located in the Cove Palisades State Park. We will climb up the canyon on a switch-back trail.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Hollywood Road
Wednesday, May 5, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Rating: Moderate, 3 miles with about 400 feet of elevation gain
Guide: Eric Hanson
Enjoy local color, history and geocaching on this leisurely paced hike with great views of the Crooked River Canyon. We will include a bit of geocaching for those who would like to improve their GPS skills.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.
Borden Beck Wildlife Preserve
Thursday, May 8, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Rating: Easy, 2 to 3 miles
Guide: Cindy Zalunardo
Along the Deschutes River, observe and learn how to identify native birds with an East Cascades Audubon Society expert. Bring your binoculars.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Gray Butte
Saturday, May 15, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Rating: Easy, 4 to 5 miles
Guide: Marilynne Keyser 
Gray Butte offers an opportunity to see some wonderful middle elevation native wildflowers not found on the Deschutes and Crooked River canyon trails.  We will stop often to learn about the native plants at 3,000 to 4,000 feet of elevation.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Crooked River National Grassland Nest Box Trail
Sunday, May 16, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Rating: Easy, 2 miles
Guide: Diane Randgaard
On this easy two mile hike, we will monitor eight bluebird and two kestrel nest boxes.  We may see nests, eggs, nestlings, and other surprises.  Bring your binoculars.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Alder Springs Trail
Tuesday, May 18, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Rating:  Moderate to Difficult, 6 miles total with Whychus Creek crossing.
Guide:   Jeff Scheetz
This hike starts along a scenic ridgeline and steeply descends into Whychus Creek canyon.  After crossing Whychus Creek, the trail follows the creek to the confluence with the Deschutes River. 
Learn more and sign up for this hike.
Big Summit Prairie
Friday, May 21, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Rating: Easy with 10 miles of driving and 2 miles of walking
Guide:  Marilynne Keyser
Big Summit Prairie occupies several thousand acres of the middle portion of the Ochoco Mountains. Most of the perimeter is in Ochoco National Forest and easily accessed by public roads. This will be a drive and hike trip, looking at native plants.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Smith Rock State Park
Tuesday, May 25, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Rating:  Easy to moderate, 2 miles
Guide:   David Vick
Experience magnificent scenery and wildlife viewing at Central Oregon’s premiere state park.  We will hike down into Crooked River canyon, cross the river on the boardwalk and head upstream on Wolf Tree Trail.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.

Chimney Rock Wildflower Hike
Thursday, May 27, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Rating:  Moderate, 4 miles
Guide:   Marilynne Keyser
This hike will focus on native plants, including early summer wildflowers.  The trail takes us from the banks of the Crooked River to the geological marvel called Chimney Rock on the canyon rim. We will go slowly and stop often to examine native plants.
Learn more and sign up for this hike.
A hiker examines native plants on Gray Butte.
Photo: Marilynne Keyser
Meet New FANs Board Member Robin Galloway

We are thrilled to have Robin Galloway join FANs Board of Directors.  When asked how she became an active volunteer and board member, Robin shared her story:

A friend, Gloria Olson, lived at Crooked River Ranch, and she was familiar with FANs and the amazing native plant book written by FANs president, Marilynne Keyser. In 2016, my husband, Mike, and I bought 40 acres in the Terrebonne area. We were from western Oregon, and the fauna and flora were quite different there where there is plenty of rain! We bought Marilynne’s book, received information about FANs with it, became FANs members, and that's how this story began.

As we started to learn about managing land in the high desert, we relied on Marilynne as an educated and helpful resource, and she patiently answered many questions and sent information about controlling cheatgrass and other invasive plants.

While still working and farming in the Willamette Valley, we spent our weekends and vacations murdering invasive weeds, removing junipers, and learning to love sagebrush. When we moved to Terrebonne full time in the spring of 2020, Marilynne and Penny Radtke, FANs invasive weed consultant, came to our property and helped us identify invasive plants that were problematic and native plants that ought to be protected.

Moving into a travel trailer, in the boonies, during a pandemic was challenging. I wanted to explore opportunities to use my time and talents, and getting involved in FANs was a logical choice.

I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the passion and professionalism of the group. We have common goals in line with the nonprofit organization's mission statement, and that is what excites me about future involvement.

During a recent FANs Lens on Learning program, Tod Heisler was asked how we can help with protecting our rivers. He said to create a culture of conservation. That statement embodies why I’m involved with FANs now.


FANs Board Member Robin Galloway
Share your photos of
spring birds and blossoms!
We'd love to share your photos with other FANs members. Send them to

Mountain chickadee nest in a nest box at Crooked River Ranch.
Photo: Diane Randgaard

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

Friends Grassroots Network
Central Oregon Conservation Network

Board Meeting Schedule

Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area board meetings are usually held on the second Sunday each month.  Copies of the agenda are available before the meetings.  Public comments are welcome at the end of board meetings.

Our next board meeting will be May 16, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Please email if you would like to participate in this board meeting.


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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