Crooked River pact reached

Aug 01, 2012

Capital Press

Crooked River pact reached A coalition of stakeholders has reached agreement on water allocation from the Crooked River in Central Oregon.

The Aug. 31 announcement was made by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, both D-Ore.

The agreement, which will be formalized in legislation Merkley plans to introduce, ends decades of "fighting and paralysis over water in the Prineville Reservoir," Merkley said in a press release.

"This is historic and a great opportunity for economic growth in the Crooked River region," said Merkley.

According to a press release, the agreement:

* Provides the city of Prineville with a dependable supply of water.

* Ensures a reliable supply of water to farmers.

* Enhances the ability to improve fish habitat in the Crooked River and McKay Creek.

The Ochoco Irrigation District, WaterWatch, Trout Unlimited and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are among the parties to the agreement.

"I commend Sen. Wyden, Sen. Merkley and Gov. Kitzhaber for taking a strong position in support of farmers and ranchers who rely upon the Crooked River to responsibly grow crops and raise livestock," Brian Barney, chairman of the Ochoco Irrigation District, said in the release.

--Mitch Lies

Back to News Articles »