Better solution needed for irrigation pipelines

Apr 24, 2012

Bend Bulletin

Better solution needed for irrigation pipelines

Before the chain saws started, I called Tumalo Irrigation District regarding their planned tree cutting along the First Street park to maintain their irrigation pipeline under the trail. When asked about the scope of their project, they assured me that their cutting would be fairly minimal. However, instead, they cut large trees and did just what I feared — overkill.

For over a 100 years, TID has been taking water from the river. We all take a lot from the river in the way of recreation and enjoyment. Now is the time for us to give back.

I respect the fact that TID must maintain their pipeline, but the trees provided shade and wildlife habitat. A better, more permanent way they can protect the pipe is to trench along it and install a tree root barrier. Once done, they would never have to cut trees again.

Other things TID can do to give back is plant native plants with noninvasive roots. They can install some fencing to protect the riparian plants. TID should form partnerships with groups like East Cascades Audubon Society and Upper Deschutes Watershed Council to augment funds and get volunteers.

I appreciate the fact that TID allowed the city to build a trail over their pipeline. But it is now a city park and all our methods need to be brought up to 21st century standards. We now know about the need for protecting our resources. It’s time for us all to find ways of giving back.


Lynn Putnam


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