Free the River

Sometime in September 2017 (next month), both the Bend City Council and the Bend Parks Board will decide whether to appropriate a total of $3.55 million in local public funds to dredge Mirror Pond.  Just as we beat back the attempt 2 years ago to squander $5 million in State funds to greenlight a new dam and build riverside condos 4 stories high, so, too, we can act again to stop a wasteful, unjust, and environmentally destructive project.

To the City of Bend and the Bend Park District:

       STOP THE DREDGING

Stop sinking tax dollars into Mirror Pond!

























Dredging is a totally unsatisfactory solution
to a completely imaginary crisis.

1—It is environmentally unsound.  Deepening the pond will result in habitat-destroying warming of the pond.  Climate change is already affecting the rivers and streams of the NW; why do artificially what climate change is already doing?


2--It is not a fix.   In the first second after the dredging is completed, the sedimentation and turbidity will begin anew.  The real problem is the dam:  Because of the dam, this stretch of the Deschutes  River does not meet water quality standards established by the Oregon DEQ.  It is too warm, too deoxygenated, too turbid, and lacks fish passage.

 3—It is unnecessary.  As long as the Newport Street Dam is in place, the Deschutes River will remain undaunted and will continue to cut a channel through Mirror Pond and find its way to the Columbia.  Almost as a gift to those of us who try to choke its progress, the Deschutes will continue to unload the sediment to create a habitable wetland in Mirror Pond similar to the one behind the Colorado St. Dam.  Nature sometimes delights even when oppressed.

 4—There is no emergency and no need for unseemly haste in getting the dredging done.  Fears that dam failure would result in a catastrophic downstream release of sediment are unfounded.

 5—Dredging would be—in essence—a tax payer-funded public works project for PacifiCorps, owner of the dam. PacifiCorps is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate that is the largest American company on worldwide stock exchanges.

 What we can do to stop it.

Tell the Bend Park District Board of Directors:  “Say NO to the $2,527,341.26 in taxpayer money requested by PacifiCorps for dredging.”  Contact them at board@bendparksandrec.org

(There are no public Board meetings scheduled in Aug. 2017.)

 Tell the City of Bend:  “Say NO to the $1,028,319.33 requested for dredging.
Contact them at councilall@bendoregon.gov

Attend the City Council meeting at City Hall; pick a first or third Wednesday; speak freely during the 7 PM public comment section.

 With their recent 5-2 decision to double ambulance rates in the city (only Councilors Boddie and Campbell dissented) how can they possibly justify sinking this obscene amount into dredging?

Note:  Mirror Pond has been designated by the Oregon DEQ as “impaired”: