Help Save the Canopy Trail

We need your help to urge Bend Park and Recreation District (BPRD) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD)  to preserve the Canopy Trail in the Deschutes South Canyon (aka COID property). The Canopy Trail includes the trailhead on Brookswood Boulevard and the tree-lined footpath that connects it to the trail leading to the Deschutes River Trail. The Canopy Trail is one of the main access points to the land for people in SCNA.

As part of the Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate the Siphon Power Plant, COID was required to establish and maintain the Canopy Trail as a recreational trail.

Save Bend Green Space made a filing with FERC alerting the agency that COID intends to sell the parcel that contains the Canopy Trail. FERC has informed COID that it must amend its license agreement to be able to do this and must get input from BPRD and OPRD on its proposed change of the Canopy Trail from a recreational trail to a mere public easement. FYI – an easement could be a narrow paved walkway between houses or fences without the trees, creek and wildlife habitat that currently exist on the Canopy Trail.

If preserving the Canopy Trail is important to you, please email BPRD and OPRD today to let them know. Here are suggested points to make in your email.

  • Why you oppose allowing Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) to abandon the Canopy Trail:
    •  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 was established as a public benefit necessary for COID to receive its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate the Siphon Power Plant; COID should not be allowed to take away this benefit to the community.
  •  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 mature trees, creek and soft footpath will be retained.
    •  The easement must be tied to the property and will remain in effect when the property is sold.
  •  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires COID to get your parks department’s input on changes to the Canopy Trail. Please use your authority to advocate for the preservation of the Canopy Trail consistent with the intent of COID’s original license agreement.

COID has until the end of June to get input from the parks departments, but please send your email to the following contacts at BPRD and OPRD by Monday June 19 to have the greatest impact:

Bend Parks and Recreation District

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (send as separate email)

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.

Canopy Trail

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