Our History

Common Nighthawk
Jack Williamson

For more than 50 years, Central Oregon’s birding community has provided rich opportunities for birders to connect, learn, and help conserve birds and their habitat.

The origin of East Cascades Audubon Society can be traced back to the early 1970s when the first National Audubon Society chapter in Central Oregon was established under the name Central Oregon Audubon Society (COAS). This organization was recognized as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS in July of 1974 and the bylaws were adopted in 1976.

Another regional birding organization, separate from COAS, was established in 2002 and was known as the East Cascades Bird Conservancy (ECBC). ECBC’s goals were to support bird conservation in Oregon by engaging the public in volunteer field studies and support of projects that further the knowledge and appreciation of birds and their habitats.

Eventually recognizing alignment in their goals and potential for mutually beneficial activities, the ECBC membership voted to merge with COAS under the new organizational name: East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS). The merger and new name were registered in January 2010 with the Secretary of State of Oregon.

Since 2010, ECAS has served Central Oregon’s birding community through education, outreach, and conservation initiatives to support birds and their habitats. As a volunteer-fueled organization, ECAS’ programs, projects, and operations rely fully on the time and talents of dozens of dedicated individuals. Additionally, ECAS’ work is supported through annual membership fees of hundreds of members.

For a more personal perspective of ECAS history, check out the following essays:

Judy Meredith- A Blast from the Past
Chuck Gates – The History of Central Oregon Birding Groups: The Way I Remember It
Sherrie Pierce – A Brief History of My Time with ECAS
Mike Golden – ECAS History

Notable Contributors

The establishment and ongoing success of East Cascades Audubon Society can be attributed in part to the dedication and notable contributions made by a number of early Central Oregon birders including:

Jim & Sue Anderson; Devon Comstock; Jay Bowerman; Chris Carey; Gary Clowers; Tom Crabtree; Sue Danley; Steve Dougill; Cal and Alice Elshoff; Chuck Gates; John and Anne Gerke; Dean Hale; Ivy Hilty; Diane Kook; Dave Ledder; Judy Meredith; Clara Miller; Craig and Marilyn Miller;  Kimdel Owens; Steve Shunk; Christy Steck; Sue Tank; Dave Tracy; Fay Van Cise; and Glenn Van Cise

Note: We recognize that there may be many others, not mentioned here, who have made important contributions to ECAS since its inception. Please help us in documenting ECAS’s rich history by reporting any errors or omissions, or by sending additional photos to ecaudubon@gmail.com.