OSU stream researchersA new analysis of river basins in the western United States suggests that climate change will have the greatest impact on summer stream flows in those waterways that might seem less vulnerable – the large, snow-fed rivers that originate in the high Cascades and other mountain ranges.
Though these iconic rivers – including the McKenzie, Willamette, Deschutes, Klamath and Rogue – appear to have plenty of water, they also may be among the most sensitive to climate change, the study concludes.
“These are big rivers fed by snow that enters deep groundwater systems with highly permeable geology,” said Mohammad Safeeq, a post-doctoral researcher at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “Their response to climate change involves more than just a change in snowfall patterns – the steepness of the terrain and the ‘drainage efficiency’ of the system are just as important to flow rates.

Shadow Lake firePhoto Courtesy USFS
Motorists were warned to be cautious and expect smoke on the highways when the Shadow Lake wildfire was burning across 6,700 hundreds of the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests in September of 2011.

The Willamette and Deschutes National Forests are looking for comments from the public on a proposal to use prescribed fire in portions of the Mt. Washington and Three Sisters Wildernesses. Officials say the prescribed burns would restore more natural vegetation patterns, reduce the need for fire suppression actions that negatively affect the wilderness, reduce risk to firefighters, and restore a more natural role for fire in the Wilderness.

More Stormy Weather for Oregon and Washington

11/20 weather mapBy Matt Alto, Meteorologist for


Friday, October 19, 2012 8:06 AM PDT

Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Snow and Cold Aim at the Northwest

Northwest snow mapThe coldest air of the season so far is forecast by to roll into the Northwest this weekend, and it will be accompanied by snow in some areas.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.