The land of the Upper Tumalo Reservoir is a beautiful natural area west of the rural community of Tumalo. Here, the sagebrush and juniper spotted high desert landscape gives way to the green foothills of the Cascades.
As the Gateway to the Skyline Forest, it is a critical connection for the Tumalo Deer Winter Range and contains important habitat for elk, mule deer and other plants and animals. We all can enjoy recreational activities such as horse riding, bird watching, and hiking in this area.
In 1988, the Oregon Water Resources Department entrusted the Tumalo Irrigation District with the care of a 930-acre parcel of land around the Upper Tumalo Reservoir with the condition that the land would remain protected wildlife habitat.
TID has not managed the land as a winter feed area for wildlife. Examples include:
- No trespassing signs at the edge of the reservoir only
- Continuing to surface mine the area even after 3 code violation complaints
- Allowing year-round motorized vehicle access, including during Deer Winter Range Closure
- Building a road through a sensitive wetland area without permits
- No management plan for the winter feeding area
- No management plan for threatened Peck's Milkvetch, which grows only in two counties in Oregon and nowhere else in the world