Think Wild’s Beaver Works Oregon Program Launches River Neighbors Initiative


Beaver Works Oregon, a program of Think Wild, invites people who live and play along the Deschutes River to get to know beavers as shapers of wildlife habitat and protectors of precious water in a dry land. To launch its River Neighbors initiative, the group will offer a trail camera loan program, a wildlife photo contest and guided river walks at the Old Mill District of Bend.

“Living on one river, we are linked to one another,” said Reese Mercer, program director of Beaver Works Oregon. “Our new River Neighbors initiative invites people to share perspectives, find common currents and learn about the ecology of the Deschutes River.”

While River Neighbors focuses specifically on more than 800 residents living along the Deschutes between La Pine and Redmond, the new initiative has a larger goal of reaching the greater neighborhood of all who spend time on the river.

Gail Snyder, executive director of Coalition for the Deschutes, welcomes River Neighbors as another way to bring people together for the common good of a shared Deschutes. “To be good neighbors of the river,” she said, “we need more ways to meet each other, to share challenges, to give back in acts of reciprocity and to celebrate the one river that connects us all.”

River Wildlife Photo Contest: Charge up your digital cameras, smartphones or auto trail cameras to enter and share your best photo or short video recording taken from your property if you are a river neighbor resident, or along the public lands by the Deschutes. The contest runs through October 15. Prizes awarded via a raffle include a gift certificate to WinterCreek Restoration and Nursery and one of our favorite trail cameras.

Trail Camera Loan Program: Residents along the Deschutes River can reserve infrared trail cameras to enjoy riverine wildlife activity, from beavers to otters and mink. The video cameras record what animals are doing while people are away or sleeping. They provide vital insights to animal patterns and behaviors that in turn can inform ways people and wildlife can live harmoniously on the river. 

Guided River Walks: Join a small group for socially distanced walks along the Deschutes River to learn of the wildlife along this riverscape and the benefits of beaver in our riparian ecosystems. The first monthly hour-long walk will be held Sunday, September 22 at 8am. Registration, which is free, at the Beaver Works website is required.

To learn more about River Neighbors, the photo contest, the trail camera loan program and upcoming River Walks, visit the website at


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