The Upper Deschutes River and the Oregon spotted frogs that live there will see higher water flows under an interim deal reached Friday between environmental groups, irrigation districts and the Bureau of Reclamation.
The agreement comes after conservation groups filed suit.
“This is the first of many steps to restore a natural flow regime in the Deschutes,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity in a release.
The Center and WaterWatch of Oregon were parties to the agreement.
Oregon spotted frogs are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Their numbers have continued to decline, in part, because of the loss of habitat from development, grazing and irrigation. It’s estimated the historic range of the frog has shrunk by 90-percent.
Conservation groups say the agreement also creates deadlines for the Bureau of Reclamation to complete a long term plan to protect the threatened frog.