East Trails Project Off and Running

East Trails Project Off and Running

Madras COTA chapter creating multi-use trails for just about everyone, and every skill level
The land east of Madras is sparsely covered with juniper trees, sage and other desert plants. It's great habitat if you're a sage grouse, but maybe not the best place to create a biking trail system—at least to the untrained eye.

Outside Features


An Extraordinary Event of Summer

Tortoiseshells and other butterflies are welcome visitors in Central Oregon
Oh, boy, are we having fun! Right now, during these warm first weeks of July, the California tortoiseshell butterfly, one of the more dashing of the nymphalids, is popping out by the hundreds of thousands—if not millions —in the foothills of the Cascades, known as the Skyline Forest.

Natural World

Trail Lovers Unite

The Deschutes Trails Coalition is partnering up to foster a future of sustainable trails in C.O.
It's a group you may not have heard of, but if you love the trails in the Deschutes National Forest—and in Central Oregon—it's a group to have on your radar.

Outside Features

Get the Lead Out!

A case for banning lead ammunition
Back in 1951, I rolled into Bend on my grand old 1947 Harley, and within a year I was into the eagle conservation business. It was then I discovered what was previously unknown to me: the U.S. Government's role in killing wildlife.

Natural World

Creating a Crew

A Central Oregon whitewater matriarchy is raising an emerging paddler generation
Water pulling us ever closer toward the blind entrance of the Class III Fish Ladder rapid, my R2 shredder partner, Chloa Ulrich, shows not a stitch of fear. Throughout our McKenzie River route, she's gently ruminating about nutrition, weighing the pros and cons of the histamines in fermented food.

Outside Features

Half-Throttle Adventures

Summer wandering is calling. But when time is short, let these three local-ish motorcycle rides give you some bite-sized adventure
A couple of weeks ago, my fairy godmother unearthed my hibernating motorcycle and got her purring like a fat cat. Who knew all it would take was draining and replacing fluids?

Outside Features

No, Really, We Do Need Bugs

Insects are vital to life as we know it
The links between insects and a healthy environment are so vital to life as we know it, they should be taught in kindergarten so that everyone learns the facts at an early age. You can thank an insect pollinator for one out of every three mouthfuls of food you eat—which is what makes spraying chemicals to kill insects in an apple orchard so deadly.

Natural World

Eyes in the Sky

Low-tech fire lookouts remain a key tool in finding fires before they spread
In a time when technology is taking over, the team managing the Deschutes National Forest still does some things the old-fashioned way. In addition to airplanes and helicopters, fire lookout towers are a critical part of finding fires early.

Outside Features

Best of Both: A bike race on both road and single track

Next-level athletes try and tackle nearly 100 miles on different terrain
Plenty of people can race in a road or mountain bike race. Fewer can do both, all in one day.

Go Here

Not Singing the Swan Song

The tales of two trumpeter couples in Central Oregon
The Western U.S. population of trumpeter swans, Cygnus buccinator —Cygnus from the Latin for swan, and buccinare for "to trumpet"—fell into deep trouble when their feathers and skin became a valuable commodity in the late 1800s. That same species you see today on the Deschutes River, Lake Aspen and Sunriver's ponds, were at one time threatened with extinction by market hunters and feather merchants.

Natural World

Picklers Assemble

Bend Pickleball Club hosts players from all over the U.S.—including a much-younger crowd than in previous years
Founded in 2013, the Bend Pickleball Club was formed to provide more ways to play the beautiful game here in Central Oregon – which is exactly what they did. In partnership with the Bend Park and Recreation District, BPC raised money and help build 16 new pickleball courts at Pine Nursery Park.

Outside Features

Learning in the Garden

'Garden for Every School' initiative awards grants to local schools
On a sunny afternoon in the Kansas Avenue Learning Garden at The Environmental Center in downtown Bend, an excited group of kindergarteners flits among the raised garden beds filled with veggies and flowers, each tasked with finding one thing that has changed since the last time they visited the garden.

Natural World

This Land is Our Land

A local, Latinx-led group forms to encourage participation in the outdoors
A new partnership is aimed at opening up outdoor activities for people who might not otherwise feel confident taking part. "I want to make the outdoors more inclusive and accessible for people who don't have the tools to get out there, and for the Latinx community in general," says Zavier (Zavi) Borja, who grew up in Madras.

Outside Features

Baby Eagle Rescued

The only golden eagle cam operating in the U.S., located just north of Sisters, has been transmitting some pretty exciting footage over the last few weeks. Viewers have been witnessing what appears to be a very cruel event in the life and times of golden eagles: the starvation of one of the young.

Natural World

Running for the Medals

The tale of a self-described "medal junkie"
Some people collect plants. Some collect makeup; others, gear.

Outside Features


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30th Annual Oregon High Desert Classics

30th Annual Oregon High Desert Classics - J Bar J Youth Services

Wednesdays-Sundays, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Continues through July 28
Bend Pacific Power Breakfast

Bend Pacific Power Breakfast - Riverhouse on the Deschutes Covention Center

Wed., July 17, 8:45 a.m.
Learn to Play the Game of Petanque with Gary Bigham

Learn to Play the Game of Petanque with Gary Bigham - Mary McCallum Park

Wed., July 17, 10 a.m.
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