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Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission opts not to change rules for Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway, calls for deeper study

Feb. 24, 2016

Portland OR -- Acting on a 2015 request from the Bend Park and Recreation District to change parts of a rule for the Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway upstream from Bend, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission decided to leave the current rule language unchanged, and directed Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff to convene a group to study the need for rule updates more thoroughly.

The district request would have amended an outright prohibition on crossings on roughly three and a half miles of river immediately upstream from Bend, and inserted language allowing a bicycle/pedestrian bridge to support completion of the Deschutes River Trail. Instead, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will take a broader look at how the river near Bend has changed since being designated in 1988. The study group will be able to suggest any rule amendments needed to continue protection of the scenic waterway and at the same time address current community and state needs for all kinds of outdoor recreation within the scenic waterway boundary. If the group proposes rule changes, they will be run through the same public review process used for all state administrative rules.

Details -- such as how to form the study group, and what its schedule will be -- will be drafted in the coming weeks and posted on the OPRD website at http://oregon.gov/oprd/. People who want to be kept informed of these next steps can send an email to oprd.publiccomment@oregon.gov and refer to the Upper Deschutes Scenic Waterway Study Group.