The Deschutes Habitat Conservation Plan
the Proposed Listing of the Oregon Spotted
For several years, Swalley Irrigation
District and Central Oregon’s other irrigation
districts (Districts), and the City of
Prineville, have been developing the Deschutes
Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).
Our HCP is meant to improve habitat for
federally listed species such as bull trout and
steelhead, while enabling the Districts to
continue all of their traditional water
management activities, including storing water
in and releasing it from Bureau of Reclamation
One of the species we have been
evaluating as part of our HCP is the Oregon
Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (Service) proposed listing this frog
under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
If listed, it would be illegal to “harm”
In the next few weeks, the Service is expected
to list the Oregon spotted frog as a
“threatened” species under the ESA.
This listing, which would occur in the
States of Oregon and Washington, may present
significant challenges for managing the
Deschutes Basin’s water supplies.
Farmers, ranchers, and the Districts have
been working diligently with the Service and
other local, state and federal agencies,
conservation groups, and others to address the
needs of many different species of fish and
wildlife, but this listing could make our work
even more challenging.
The frog situation is
Water supplies could be called upon from
Central Oregon reservoirs like Crane Prairie,
Wickiup, or Crescent Lake at the same time water
normally would be stored in these reservoirs for
the upcoming irrigation season.
And if there were storage releases in
winter or spring for the frogs, those releases
may conflict with
through the HCP to provide more water in the
summer for steelhead, bull trout and salmon.
For these and other reasons, the
success of our HCP is very important.
Later this month, the Districts and the
City will propose conservation measures for
several species, including Oregon spotted frog,
to the federal agencies.
We will also brief the public and other
While we do not expect final approval of
our HCP until next year, we wanted to make sure
you are aware of our work on this matter.
If you would like to know more
about our HCP, please call the District office.
If you would like to learn more about the
Oregon spotted frog, please see the links below.
On behalf of Central Oregon’s primary
irrigation districts, the Deschutes Basin Board
of Control will continue to work closely with
all involved to ensure that a decision to list
the Oregon spotted frog under the ESA
complements our conservation efforts in the
Deschutes Basin, and does not result in
For the Service’s proposed
listing of the Oregon spotted frog, see:
For the Service’s proposed
critical habitat designation for the Oregon
spotted frog, see:
For the Service’s news release
regarding the proposed listing and designation,