Editorial: Lower Whychus needs protection
May 11, 2013
Bend BulletinI was pleased to see Whychus Creek featured in the recent article “Preserving Whychus: A hike reminds why" on April 29. I am on the board of directors for a new group, the Friends and Neighbors (aka FANS) of the Deschutes Canyon Area that is focused on helping to preserve and restore public lands in our backyards, including lower Whychus Creek.
Lower Whychus Creek historically held some of the best steelhead spawning habitat in our watershed. Thanks to huge community investments, we are now welcoming back the first steelhead and salmon runs in nearly 50 years. I applaud the Deschutes Land Trust and other local groups for their efforts to preserve and restore key sections of Whychus Creek, ensuring that they are protected for future generations. However, the cherished section of the creek that runs through public land at Alder Springs and into the Deschutes River lacks permanent protection.
As part of the Deschutes Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Lower Whychus Creek will be in limbo until Congress takes action to permanently protect the area. I urge everyone who cares for this special place to support efforts to preserve the entirety of Whychus Creek and the greater Deschutes Canyon Area. We have devoted millions of dollars toward restoring Whychus Creek, securing public access to spectacular trails and bringing steelhead and salmon back to our watershed. It’s time to protect our investment.