Photo: Land Trust.

Meet our Supporters

Our members come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but all share a passion for the outdoors and a desire to protect Central Oregon's beauty for future generations. Listed below are just a few of their stories and why they support the Deschutes Land Trust.

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The core of the Deschutes Land Trust's community has--and will always be--our members. Members provide the annual support--financial and moral--we need to protect the most important lands in Central Oregon. In 1995, when the Land Trust was founded, we had seven members! Today, more than 1,700 households believe in and support land conservation as a way to chart a more sustainable future. Read a few of their stories:

Laura and Ron Fritz

Laura Fritz first learned about the Deschutes Land Trust from her parents, who had a second home in Central Oregon and were Land Trust supporters. "My parents loved the beauty of Central Oregon and wanted to contribute to preserving it, and we do too!," says Laura.

"In fact, the outdoors are a big part of why we moved to Central Oregon. We spend lots of time in the woods running, biking, hiking, or walking our dogs. That's why we support the Land Trust--to help preserve the great outdoors for future generations and for its non-human inhabitants," says Laura. Read more.


Chris and Susie Leupold Family

Chris and Susie Leupold grew up in Oregon and have been Land Trust members since 2015. Chris and Susie share their family's story of support:

“We have visited Central Oregon every summer for the past 20 years. It has given us the opportunity to visit extended family and enjoy the magnificent beauty of our home state. Over the years, our family has been able to experience the amazing breadth of activities available in this area--from hiking and white water rafting to biking and fishing. Our children, who have grown up in San Francisco, have had an opportunity to experience nature in a way they aren’t able to in the city.

The mission of the Land Trust immediately spoke to us. Connecting with nature has been a big part of our family life for generations." Read more.


Kim and Steve McCarrel

When Kim McCarrel was a child she lived in a rural area outside of Salt Lake City. There, she could walk her dog through the hills for hours and never see another person. "I loved that place, and it never occurred to me that it could ever change. Then, when I was in college, the area was subdivided.

The sagebrush, scrub oak, and cottonwood trees I cherished were replaced by houses, roads, and sidewalks. I felt devastated at the loss, and it convinced me that development is not always the highest and best use for a piece of land," Kim recalls. Read more.


John and Heather Sterling

John and Heather Sterling first got involved with the Land Trust 15 years ago when the Metolius Preserve was poised for acquisition. "At the time, we felt fortunate to live in a community that supported an organization that could quickly jump on acquisition opportunities like the Metolius Preserve," says John.

"We feel strongly that Central Oregon communities need to do all we can to protect our special lands, both public and private. The Land Trust represents our community's commitment to preserving important private lands, which are a crucial part of the matrix of open space we enjoy every day here in Central Oregon," says John. Read more.

More member stories:


Learn about the many ways you can support the Deschutes Land Trust, including monthly giving, volunteering, joining the Five Rivers Society, and more!