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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Help open the Bend Watershed!

    Those of you in Bend have probably heard of the proposed Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP). Preliminary work shut down the road to Tumalo Falls and some of our trails last year.

    It is an enormous ($70 million) project to make the antiquated surface water portion of the Bend water supply permanent. It will raise our water rates considerably and insure we never have trails in the area.

    The last City Council and the city employees tried to rush it through, but it was shut down on environmental grounds, protecting Tumalo Creek. Now they have asked the Forest Sevice to do a new Impact Statement based on taking less water. No cheaper, just less water.

    The truth is that we already have enough well water to supply the city 100%. It could easily be doubled. The wells are not as affected by fires, cryptosporidium, or dry winters. (I didn't want to get involved with this, but I've had graduate training in hydrology, and when I dug into it, I couldn't believe the thing. Developers and environmentalists alike oppose it.

    If we were to just use our wells, we could open up the 12 mile-square sections now closed or partially closed to bikes.

    Any comments you can submit to the FS by Tuesday, 1/22 would be great! Send to

    We have also new City Council, lead by Mayor Jim Clinton. He consistantly voted against the project, but was outvoted by the old council. Send your opinion to them as well.
    City of Bend : City Council
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help open the Bend Watershed!-watershed.jpg  

    Last edited by newfydog; 01-18-2013 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SeenYour Crash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Hmmm. Seems a bit of a jump to go from a water project to a change of trail regulation by the FS. In my experience with the FS it would likely need a full NEPA to address this. I wouldn't set expectations that one would necessarily lead to the other. The Flagline seasonal closure is related to elk management not water.

    The COTA board has not discussed this issue directly. My personal opinion is that there are very few hiker-only trails outside of Wilderness in Central Oregon. Tumalo falls area is a very popular tourist hiking destination. Not sure I would want to kick the hornets nest on this controversial and complex issue. My $.02.

    Personally agree with your points on the water project and thanks for the reminder to submit my comments to the FS and City Council.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Agree, going to a ground water system won't give us new trails right away, but the current plan will insure that we never get access, and will close a number of our existing trails while they do construction.

    The city is out of compliance with stormwater, which runs right into the Deschutes, and needs a massive sewer system overhaul. Our rates are going to soar, so that alone is reason to go with the cheapest water supply. I think that trails can and will come with time once the Tumalo Creek water is replaced by groundwater.

    Thanks for your support.
    Last edited by newfydog; 01-18-2013 at 10:47 AM.

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