Free the River

Text of the new petition:

Should Bend Park and Recreation Distict support the goal of a free-flowing Deschutes River at the present site of Mirror Pond by pledging not to acquire the existing Mirror Pond dam and not to pay for its renovation or replacement?

To sign the new petition, simply click the blue button, print the petition, and mail to:

Free the River

PO Box 1790

Bend, OR   97709

The new initiative petition will be ready for signatures during the Oct. 27, 2015,  'Code Blue' event at the Old Stone Church.

BPRD shall pledge to adopt as policy and guiding principle the desirability and value of a free-flowing Deschutes River at the present site of Mirror Pond in order to optimize healthy riparian habitat, minimize maintenance cost, make dredging unnecessary, improve accessibility, diversify public use, and buffer the river system against the effects of climate change; in so doing BPRD shall call upon PacifiCorps to bear sole responsibility for (1) demolition of the current deteriorating Mirror Pond dam and (2) subsequent streambed and streamside restoration.

Pursuant to 16 USCS § 1286 (b), [Title 16. Conservation; Chapter 28. Wild and Scenic Rivers] the term free-flowing, as applied to any river or section of a river, means “existing or flowing in natural condition without impoundment, diversion, straightening, rip-rapping, or other modification of the waterway. "

The Nov. 8, 2016, Presidential election date gives this initiative the best chance for passage, since the turnout will be larger and the proportion of younger voters will be greater.  (I.e., >60% turnout as opposed to the typically <20% turnout in a May odd-numbered year BPRD election.)

We will be more savvy this time out and realize that, at some point, paid circulators may be needed to put it over the top.  

(One idea is to target the 1 in 7 voting population who possess ODFW fishing licenses.)

There will be an 10 month period of time to collect roughly 5324 valid signatures (the requirement for the 26 precinct BPRD District) by Sept. 8, 2016.

The first petitions will be ready by Oct. 27, the evening of an event at the Old Stone Church with Steven Hawley, author of the very lyrical Recovering a Lost River. 

We all should congratulate ourselves on our amazing victory in the Oregon State Legislature this year.  They saw through the subterfuge and decided not to green light a new Mirror Pond dam with $5 million in State Lottery funds.

Every victory brings another.

And--as always--spread the word about the petition.

2 Easy Things to Do to Qualify the New Petition

1--Tell everyone you know about this website ( and the newly convenient way to print, sign, and mail.

2--Write or call for a 10-signature paper petition to circulate among friends and neighbors.  We will give you tips and instructions on the legalities behind being a petitioner.

Call me anytime:  541-280-0802

Thank you so much,

Foster Fell,

'Chief Petitioner'