Observing how people interact with the land they call home is one of the keys to understanding a culture. The land often shapes their myths and beliefs and people, in turn, reshape the land. This interplay between people and the land is a key part of the daily lives of Native American tribes in the Deschutes Basin, both in the past and at present.
The connection between land and people also is evident through such practices as groundwater management and during events as fires. In recent years there has been growing recognition of the ecological value of rivers and streams and widespread efforts to repair their condition. These actions include efforts to remove fish passage barriers and screen water diversions, increase instream flows, and improve channel and riparian habitat conditions.