Letter from the Executive Director

Sarah Cloud, Executive Director Deschutes River Alliance

Sarah Cloud, Executive Director
Deschutes River Alliance


My first few months with the Deschutes River Alliance have been an amazing time. It has been inspiring to meet the incredible community rallying around the lower Deschutes River. Of course, spending time in Maupin and on the river has made this a particularly golden time for me.

I have had a lifelong love of the water – as a child it was impossible to get me to walk away from a body of water and many of my best childhood memories include fishing with my dad on lakes in Michigan. It was a cruel joke for me to have been born in a land-locked state like Ohio but I escaped and have spent my adulthood exploring Oregon. I have fallen in love with many of the beautiful flatwater lakes in my kayak and the Willamette having spent countless hours on a dragon boat. 

When I learned of an organization that exists to protect one of the state’s most beautiful waterways, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I challenge you to find a board of directors with more experience than DRA’s. By my calculations, combined we have over 300 years of experience studying, working and recreating on the lower Deschutes. Our science is strong and our commitment is unwavering. 

There has been a lot happening with the DRA and the lower Deschutes River this summer. Inside this newsletter you can read about the PGE science report (spoiler alert – they agree with our science), a new plan being explored to support fish reintroduction, our lower Deschutes River water quality report and the release of our benthic report. All of this points to what we have known for years - the water quality of the lower Deschutes River is being compromised for a failed fish reintroduction effort. This is a vital time for DRA to stand strong and advocate for reintroduction methods that may be more successful while carrying out our primary mission of protecting and preserving the river we love.  

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy hearing from folks about why they love the river and support DRA. I look forward to meeting many of you at the Annual Gathering and Auction on February 8 in Portland. Of course we can always set up a time to chat before then  - reach out to me at sarah@deschutesriveralliance.org