Bend▶️ Nonprofit, homeowners fight to preserve trail system in southwest Bend

▶️ Nonprofit, homeowners fight to preserve trail system in southwest Bend

▶️ Nonprofit, homeowners fight to preserve trail system in southwest Bend

▶️ Nonprofit, homeowners fight to preserve trail system in southwest Bend

A popular trail system in southwest Bend is in jeopardy of becoming a housing development. Homeowners and a local nonprofit are opposing the move.

“We’ve recently moved to the area. We purchased the land and the house for this location to this trail system and to the river. We paid a premium for the house because of that location and now to hear that that could all be taken away is pretty upsetting,” neighbor Beth Buchanan said.

The land is owned by Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID). It is not considered public. 

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COID tolerates community use of the trails as long as it does not conflict with operations of their facilities.

The district says it is now selling a portion of the land to Pahlisch Homes mainly because the land has become too difficult to maintain. 

“I’m hearing that there’s a lot of money that goes into maintaining this. Would love to know what that is. We’d love to have opportunities to take over some of that. We could volunteer, we could organize things,” Buchanan said.

Save Bend Green Space is a local nonprofit made up of neighborhood volunteers. It is focusing its efforts on preserving this specific area of the trail, commonly called “Canopy Trail,” for its recreational and historic purposes.

“It has open water on the other side of this embankment that we see here. The embankment is interesting because it really comprises the left bank of the original irrigation canal in Bend, built by Alexander Drake in 1904,” Vice Chair of Save Bend Green Space Robert Anderson said.

Anderson says the organization is not opposed to some of the land being developed. 

“There are several flat, more exposed and less amenable to year round recreation areas here that we think are suitable for development,” Anderson said.

The nonprofit says it is now appealing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in hopes the agency can step in and help come to a solution to preserve the Canopy Trail.

If you have any concerns regarding the Canopy Trail, you can go here. There you will find an easy step-by-step guide into how to make any comments or ask any questions to FERC.
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