The Deschutes River has appeared on postcards, in coffee table books and everywhere in between. In 2019, it will appear on a government-issued postage stamp.

In November, the U.S. Postal Service announced 19 sets of Forever stamps that will be available at post offices in 2019.

The collection includes a series of stamps designed to commemorate the National Wild and Scenic River Act, a federal law that limits development along portions of distinctive rivers, including the Deschutes.

The collection features a dozen prints of rivers or river segments that were protected under the act, including one of the Deschutes River’s small waterfalls, photographed by Bob Wick.

Other rivers in the collection include the Owyhee, Snake, Missouri, Skagit and Flathead.

Ernie Swanson, communications programs specialist for the Postal Service, said the agency receives tens of thousands of suggestions every year for topics to consider as Forever stamps, which are designed to celebrate people, events and cultural milestones across the country.

The Wild and Scenic River Act, which was signed into law in 1968, was designed to safeguard rivers deemed to have outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values, among other qualifications. Two decades later, Oregon passed the Omnibus Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which added 40 river segments throughout Oregon, including 170 miles of the Deschutes River and 354 miles within the overall basin, to the federal law, according to The Bulletin’s archives. The addition is credited with preventing dam construction on the river near Bend. Once an idea for a series of stamps is submitted, the 12-member Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee considers proposals and recommends designs to the Postmaster General, according to the agency’s website. Once the Postal Service selects ideas, Swanson said the agency reaches out to artists it thinks would be a good fit for the project.

“It’s something that’s good for their resume and their portfolio,” Swanson said.

The Postal Service has not released a date when the stamps will be made available for purchase, but Swanson said they will be available for up to a year, or until the agency sells out. Swanson said the agency expects to print “tens of millions” of the stamps, which will be available to buy at all post offices.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818, shamway@bendbulletin.com

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