Metolius Basin

The Metolius Basin is a unique setting of gentle streams, cool springs, pine forests, abundant wildlife, fresh air, and mountain views. Located between the Cascade Crest to the west and Green Ridge to the east, the Basin's length is traversed by the clear waters of the Metolius River and the creeks and springs that feed it. Residents and visitors to the Metolius experience the spirituality, calmness, and wonder that the natural elements of the Basin provide. A chronology of land and resource use in the Metolius Basin highlights the conservation efforts of those who cherish the natural values of the Metolius to protect this special place. Additional historical accounts of life in the Metolius Basin are depicted on the Metolius Recreation Association web site.

Metolius Protection Act of 2009


Governor Kulongoski signs the Metolius Protection Act of 2009 with Senators Ginny Burdick and Betsy Johnson looking on

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The Metolius Protection Act of 2009 was signed into law July 15, 2009.The legislation prohibits destination resort development and provides a management plan for the region. Key features include:

  • No destination resorts or golf courses in the region.

  • The boundary of the region protected extends beyond the Metolius watershed to within a few miles of Sisters on the south and southwest recognizing the potential impact of drawing large amounts of water from the ground water that feeds the river.

  • Any new development in the region will not have a negative impact on the river or its springs and tributaries, on wildlife, or on fish.

  • The legislation gives the responsibility to review and approve proposed amendments to the plan to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners and the governing council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

  • The Ponderosa Land & Cattle Company will have the right to develop 100 residential units and 20 overnight accommodations on their property on Green Ridge including a restaurant and equestrian facilities.

Metolius Conservation Area

In 1990 the Deschutes National Forest established the Metolius Conservation Area to ensure that the Basin is managed to maintain a more natural appearing condition for the future. Within the 86,000 acre conservation area is the designation of ten management areas. A map of the Metolius Basin below indicates the five most extensive management areas:

Metolius Wild and Scenic River

Rivers designated as wild and scenic must be free-flowing streams and the related adjacent land area must possess scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values.The Metolus River was added to the federal Wild and Scenic River system in the Omnibus Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1988. The corridor is 8,560 acres in size and is divided into two segments:

A summary describes the Metolius Wild and Scenic River Management Goals.


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