Why Whychus Creek?

Whychus Creek is an important ecological and social centerpiece for Central Oregon. Learn more about this special place and the Land Trust's efforts to conserve it.

Whychus Creek at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. Photo: Deb Quinlan.
Whychus Creek at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. Photo: Deb Quinlan.
In 2014 the Deschutes Land Trust launched a $12 million comprehensive Campaign for Whychus Creek. That's a lot of effort for one little creek. So, why Whychus Creek? Where is Whychus Creek?

Whychus Creek 101:

  • Whychus Creek is 41 miles long from its headwaters in the Three Sisters Wilderness to its confluence with the Deschutes River near Crooked River Ranch.
  • The Creek is most visible in the town of Sisters where it flows through city parks and neighborhoods.
  • Of Whychus Creek's 41 miles, 8 miles are protected by the Deschutes Land Trust and we hope to protect 4 more. That's more than 30% of the Creek!
  • Take a virtual tour of Whychus Creek and learn why it is so important.

Why Whychus Creek? Why is the Land Trust working to protect Whychus Creek?

Whychus Creek provides important habitat for fish & wildlife:
  • Waterways in our high desert provide critically important places of refuge for wildlife.
  • Mule deer, elk, and cougar call its mountains and meadows home. Songbirds and tiny hummingbirds live in its creekside willows.
  • Chinook salmon and steelhead are returning to its waters--a first in fifty years!
  • Protecting Whychus Creek establishes a permanent home for fish and wildlife in our fast-growing region.

Whychus Creek connects us as a community:

  • Creeks, with their ribbons of green and blue, are also places of refuge for us. We need green places to feel whole, healthy, and happy. So do our children and grandchildren.
  • Those children also need a place to learn about nature and feel comfortable and connected to it.
  • Now is the time to determine how our future will look. Don't you want to look back and know that our community chose to make Whychus Creek the regional jewel it should be?

The Land Trust has been working for more than twenty years to conserve Whychus Creek. To date, we’ve protected 2,200 acres of land along the creek and more than eight miles of the creek itself.

In the coming years, now we have an unprecedented opportunity to fill in the pieces, protecting 12 miles of Whychus Creek. Connecting our protected lands will benefit both wildlife and people. Join us in the Campaign for Whychus Creek and help achieve this vision of a healthy, protected Whychus Creek!

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