Help Save the Canopy Trail (step 2)
The future of one of the major trails on the Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) property in the Deschutes South Canyon is being decided now. Known by many as the Canopy Trail, it includes the trailhead on Brookswood Boulevard and the tree-lined footpath that connects to the Deschutes River Trail. This is the next step following the Parks & Recreation email campaign we told you about in our June Newsletter.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is seeking public comments on the application by the COID that proposes substituting a 20’-wide public easement for the Canopy Trail. This new easement can be relocated to accommodate future development; become a narrow, paved walkway between houses or fences; and could mean the destruction of the trees, canal and habitat that currently exist on the Canopy Trail. The COID created the easement in an effort to get FERC’s approval to sell the parcel that contains the Canopy Trail to a developer.
If you support preserving this scenic and natural trail, please send a comment to FERC. The deadline to submit your comment is Monday, August 28, 2023.
Please use your own words to explain why the Canopy Trail is important to you, but here are some suggested points to make in your comment:
- Why you oppose COID’s proposed 20’ easement as a replacement for the Canopy Trail:
- The Canopy Trail was established as a public benefit necessary for COID to receive its license to operate the Siphon Power Plant; COID should not be allowed to take away this benefit to the community.
- The proposed 20’ easement only guarantees access; it does not guarantee the scenic, recreational and environmental values as required by the original FERC license agreement.
- The Canopy Trail offers a safe and popular connection to the Deschutes River and the Deschutes River Trail (feel free to include details on how you use this trail for strolling, dog walking, biking, bird watching, etc.).
- The Canopy Trail provides habitat to many species of birds, small mammals, amphibians and pollinators.
- The Canopy Trail’s mature trees reduce large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and help to mitigate the urban heat island effect in Bend – rated the 14th worst in the entire United States.
- Changing the Canopy Trail to an easement is not acceptable unless:
- The easement preserves the full recreational value of the Canopy Trail and clearly establishes that the mature trees, creek and soft foot path will be retained.
- The portion of the easement that includes heavily treed sections of the Canopy Trail cannot be relocated.
- The easement must be tied to the property and will remain in effect if and/when the property is sold.
Your comment must reference Docket number P-3571-041 and may be submitted using the eComment system on the FERC website at https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx. You must also include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. If you have questions about this issue, please email [email protected].
Thank you for your support of the Deschutes South Canyon trails, trees and habitat.