Agriculture is an important part of Central Oregon’s cultural heritage and supports a resilient local food system. Farm and ranch land has remained available for family farmers in Central Oregon because of protections put in place by our statewide land use planning system.
After the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruled in favor of wildlife earlier this year, Deschutes County went back to court to challenge their ruling. In a recent ruling from the Court of Appeals, LUBA's decision was affirmed, upholding protections for wildlife in the deer winter range!
Central Oregon LandWatch is the only group on the front lines in defense of Deschutes County’s wildlife habitat code protections. Last week, we filed an appeal of an alarming change to the county’s Flood Plain Zone to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
More than 100 of the iconic, old-growth ponderosa pine trees which greet us when we arrive back into Central Oregon from the Santiam Pass or the Metolius River Basin are dying because they were sprayed with a deadly herbicide by the Forest Service and ODOT over the course of three consecutive years.
Last night, LandWatch advocated for wildlife habitat and protection from wildfire risk adjacent to Shevlin Park by supporting an application for a new zone in Deschutes County. The proposal to create a Westside Transect zone will extend to the county the 2016 UGB concept of tapering density as the city boundary nears the forest where there is higher risk of wildfire.
The City of Bend has applied to continue using its archaic and imprecise method of diverting water from the source spring. With climate change, receding snow packs and glaciers will impact the springs meaning less and less water will flow over Tumalo Falls in the future.
Last year when Deschutes County proposed amending the code to weaken winter range protections, LandWatch's members and allies, including the friends of the Tumalo Wildlife Corridor, voiced their strong support for protection of winter range habitat and the species that depend on it.
The Franklin underpass is a key connection between east and west Bend, but it suffers from flooding during high volume rainstorms. The BCD Initiative's Streetscapes Committee made recommendations for improving streetscapes and saving the city money on planned infrastructure projects. The Bulletin reported on these recommendations when the underpass flooded on May 28, 2018.
Many dying trees along Highway 20 between Sisters and Black Butte are planned to be cut down because they were sprayed with a deadly herbicide over the course of three consecutive years. These aren’t just any trees, but trees that the public had earlier saved, and the killing of the trees was easily avoidable.
Local angler and blogger, Yancy Lind weighs the costs and benefits of asking the public to fund piping of Tumalo Irrigation District's canals in this Guest Column that was published in The Bulletin on May 15, 2018.
The Metolius Basin was once threatened by clearcuts and destination resorts, but thanks in large part to our Executive Director Paul Dewey's unwavering defense of the area, it is now protected as an Area of Critical State Concern (ACSC).