Happy 50th birthday to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act!

The state of Oregon is home to more than 110,000 miles of rivers, nearly 2,000 of which are designated as wild and scenic.

That’s almost 2 percent of the state’s river miles!

To help celebrate this landmark legislation, various public agencies and nonprofits are hosting events throughout the year to bring more awareness to our state’s various wild and scenic rivers.

Events include everything from river cleanups and lecture series to charity dinners and special beer collaborations with local breweries. For example, Ochoco Brewing out of Prineville recently released their Wild and Scenic Wheat, a Belgian-style Witbier fermented with apricots. Ochoco’s Wild and Scenic Wheat is currently pouring on tap at their brewpub in Prineville.

Here in Central Oregon our list of rivers with wild and scenic protection reads like a who’s who of spectacular waterways. The Metolius, Deschutes, Little Deschutes, John Day and Crooked rivers, as well as Big Marsh Creek, Whychus Creek and Crescent Creek all benefit from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Check out these upcoming events that help celebrate – and protect – our wild and scenic rivers in Central Oregon:

  • Upstream: The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council’s annual fundraiser for environmental educational programs. Held at Brasada Ranch, this dinner will feature inspiring student presentations and a distinctive silent auction.
    May 18, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Brasada Ranch


  • Every River Tells a Story: Families will have a free opportunity to learn about our local rivers, water and its importance to people and our natural environment at the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station. Hands on activities will include, how scientists measure quality of water, how tiny bugs can serve as indicators of water quality, importance of wetlands and basic water science fun.
    June 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Cascade Lakes Welcome Station


  • 22nd Annual Deschutes River Cleanup: A special day for watershed stewards of all. The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council coordinates the Deschutes River Clean-Up each year to engage business partners, river users, and community members in hands-on stewardship activities on the Deschutes River. Volunteers will meet at Riverbend Park. River clean-up activities will take place in the Deschutes River and along its riparian areas between Slough Campground and Drake Park.
    July 28, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Meet at Riverbend Park

Go to CentralOregonWildAndScenic.org for more information on events and volunteer opportunities. Also, look for more Wild and Scenic beers from 10 Barrel, Deschutes, Worthy, Wild Ride, Bridge 99, Crux and Cascade Lakes breweries throughout the summer.