BEND, OR – It's Unanimous.
The Oregon Legislature took another step forward in environmental protection, uniting conservationists and homeowners in Central Oregon. The House voted 54-0 to ban new bridge construction in a sensitive portion of the Upper Deschutes Scenic Waterway.
The issues are clear, as are BPRD's actions. In spite of BPRD's Chairman Ted Schoenborn’s lobbying, the entire voting legislative body sent a message loud and clear. Keep your hands off the State Scenic Waterway in the Upper Deschutes. No Bridges Period!
"It's amazing in this day and age of such partisan bickering Oregonians came together to protect our environment and private property from an agency out of control." Said Tim Phillips a member of the Upper Deschutes Conservation Council. "We expect BPRD will still not get the message and continue to advance their agenda over long standing environmental protections."
BPRD will likely try to usurp environmental groups, private landowners and the entire Oregon House of Representatives all in the name of watering down long standing environmental laws.
HB 2027-A strengthens environmental protections under the Oregon Scenic Waterways Act by prohibiting new bridge construction in a portion of the Upper Deschutes Scenic Waterway. This bill directly follows the advice of a 2015 Oregon Fish and Wildlife opinion explicitly opposing new bridges and heavy recreational use in this area. The subject area contains critical habitat for the ESA threatened Oregon spotted frog, and was identified by ODFW as containing vital wintering habitat for rocky mountain elk and mule deer. HB 2027-A has been broadly supported by Central Oregon conservation groups and homeowners.