Celebrating over a century of protection of the Metolius River Basin

The Metolius has always been a place that captures the imagination and stirs the soul.

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For thousands of years, Native peoples honored the River as a sacred life force in the dry landscape of the high desert. They gathered plants on its banks, caught salmon in its clear waters, and hunted mule deer in its meadows. Living in balance with nature, they were the original guardians. Their descendants in Warm Springs remain so today.

In the last century, the ancient Ponderosa pines have quietly witnessed many new arrivals. Early settlers and travelers also felt drawn to the special quality of the River and surrounding woods as they made their way west. They built summer cabins and camps, and raised their children and grandchildren to admire its beauty. Today, people travel from all over the world to explore and enjoy this natural treasure.

Yet the Metolius also has another history.

From the early 1900s, the Basin has been under constant threat from logging and development. It has taken the perseverance and determination of its original guardians and community supporters to fight for its preservation.

The Metolius Basin was once threatened by clearcuts and destination resorts, but thanks in large part to our Executive Director Paul Dewey's unwavering defense of the area, it is now protected as an Area of Critical State Concern (ACSC).

The Metolius Basin was once threatened by clearcuts and destination resorts, but thanks in large part to our Executive Director Paul Dewey's unwavering defense of the area, it is now protected as an Area of Critical State Concern (ACSC).

Time and again, people have come together to protect this unique place. They have blocked timber sales, stopped destination resorts, and advocated passionately to protect the ecosystem and the fish, plants, and animals that live there. For over three decades, Central Oregon Landwatch has been a proud part of this effort.

This year we celebrate the remarkable spirit of this guardianship.

To those who came before us, those who join us today, and those who will follow us — THANK YOU for keeping the Metolius protected for generations to come.

Be a part of this legacy

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Receive a special gift when you give $100 to LandWatch to celebrate 100 years of protection the Metolius River Basin. The beautiful set of 12 postcards tells the inspiring stories of generations of families who have stood up for the future of this special place. Write “Metolius” in your donation note to share the spirit of celebration.

Special edition postcard series

A lot has changed over the past century, but we can still send postcards to loved ones as a tangible reminder of the places we love. With this beautiful special edition postcard series, you can send stories and facts from the Metolius to your friends and family, and inspire the next generation of protectors to get involved!