What's next on BPRD's agenda?
The Upper Deschutes Scenic Waterway
Over the past several years, Don Horton and the Bend Parks and Recreation District have been lobbying OPRD to gut environmental protections on this portion of the river. The objective? Build a second Deschutes River Trail, including a new bridge, from Bend to Sunriver.
Why is BPRD Seeking to remove environmental protections?
BPRD lacks city-owned land to complete its development agenda. BPRD’s choices are to either:
- Engage the Federal government and pursue development in a Federal Wild and Scenic area; or
- Condemn private land and pursue development in the Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway.
Strong environmental protections in Federal Wild and Scenic areas would prevent BPRD from completing its development on Federal land. Thus, BPRD has chosen to lobby OPRD to accomplish its development plans in the Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway.
BPRD/Don Horton's Real objective
- Collect and disregard public input. This has happened on two occasions.
- Attempt to rewrite longstanding environmental law that prohibits bridges in the Upper Deschutes Scenic Waterway.
- Condemn private land for a riparian trail and bridge site.
- Apply to OPRD for permission to build this bridge, which is currently prohibited under OAR 736-040-0073. OPRD will deny BPRD's request, which will start a 12-month period in which BPRD will have to wait. A loophole in the State Scenic Waterway will allow BPRD to move forward with the project even after being denied by OPRD.