Member since Mar 24, 2016

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Re: “Coalition for the Deschutes

Saving the river is really important!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rockartster on 11/09/2017 at 7:24 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “Bridge Battle, Part Deux

Perhaps the most important argument against the new bridge is that allowing it in a designated scenic area would set a precedent that could weaken such protections across the entire state of Oregon. That's a slippery slope and a bad idea.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rockartster on 01/25/2018 at 6:51 AM

Re: “The Effects of Feeding Deer in Town

So how about telling people what they CAN feed deer that is healthy for the critters? People love feeding animals, it makes them feel good, they want to help the poor, starving wildlife. What can we feed wild deer that actually helps them instead of harming them...there must be something?

7 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by La Pine Mike on 05/31/2017 at 7:59 PM

Re: “Letters 3/23-3/30

I'm not sure who Mr. Breeden is, but as he suggests for others, he should check his facts. I have a home on the upper Deschutes near Pringle Falls and have had a relationship with the river for over 30 years. I love to be around it and to fish in it. I never expect to sell the property I own and have no children for whom to build an I have little or no vested interest in real estate. I make no money directly or indirectly from the Deschutes.

I care about the river, the fish, the frog...and the farmers, fishing guides and others who need the Deschutes to make a living. As a small business person I intimately know about the importance of supporting yourself, your family, and your employees.

Mr. Breeden's patently ridiculous statement that "There is more water running down the Deschutes than ever before, thanks to the efforts of the irrigation districts." prompts me to respond to his comments.

Since the construction of Wickiup Dam in 1949 there is absolutely much less water...and much more the upper Deschutes then ever before, depending on the time of year you measure. For the sake of my discussion "upper Deschutes" means the river from Wickiup Dam down to Benham Falls.

In addition to easily available measurements and data from various government agencies all you have to do is watch the water flows which you can do in person or on-line...I do both. The upper river explodes with flood-level flows during the irrigation season (April-October) and starves for water during the winter (November-March) while irrigation water is stored in giant artificial reservoirs. It's far from natural.

Possibly Mr. Breeden is talking about the "middle" Deschutes below the confluences of the Fall River, Spring River, and Crooked River? The low flows from the upper Deschutes are moderated and stabilized significantly as the flow from those rivers join in. I can assure you from personal observation (or scientific measurements if you like) that the flows in the upper river are as low or lower then ever during the winter months.

Over the past couple of months I've been trying to educate myself more on this whole issue of Deschutes water rights, cooperative efforts to minimize wasted water, fish and frog habitat improvement, etc.

Frankly I can find no significant evidence of REAL progress. The water outside my door in winter is as low as ever, there's less opportunity for fishing then ever, the water quality is as low as ever and nothing concrete seems to be changing for the better on the upper Deschutes.

How can it take 10 years just to make a plan to make things better for the Deschutes? How long will implementation of that plan take...10 more years...20 about never, is never good for you?! OK, now I'm ranting so I will close.

The users of irrigation water have important rights, but with those rights come responsibilities to their neighbors, the communities they live in and, yes, to Mother Nature. She was here first and will be here long after the farms are gone.

Water users must make ACTUAL progress in how the water is used and in reducing waste or the rest of the community has no alternative but to "get legal" to protect it's own rights. The two current lawsuits are indicative of what we all hope is NOT the future.

Change is hard, we all know that...but Deschutes water users must change voluntarily...or the communities around them will take that opportunity out of their hands.

Posted by La Pine Mike on 03/24/2016 at 1:00 PM

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