BEND, OR –– In recent years, the BPRD has petitioned the OPRD Commission to amend the rule to allow a pedestrian crossing.
The current Oregon Administrative rules prohibit any construction on the Deschutes River. In response to the petition by BPRD, OPRD reviewed waterway rules, bringing experts in recreation, land management, and fish and wildlife, together with members of the community adjacent to the scenic waterway. Steps in the public process included the convening of an advisory group, open house public meetings, and an online survey.
On May 5, 2017 following the release of the Community Solutions Report, the consensus of this extensive public process was to not pursue an amendment to allow bridges, thereby protecting Oregon Scenic Waterways.
In supporting the decision, OPRD Director Lisa Sumption commented on the importance of the long withstanding protections and how they outweigh the destruction hat would be caused by the development requested by BPRD, "As important as recreation is to our mission, it has to be balanced with our need to protect resources that make recreation possible. Changing rules, especially in a way that might encourage more visible riverside development, is contrary to the purpose of the scenic waterway system.”