Disappointed in editorial

As someone who chose to live in Central Oregon because of its natural beauty and what I perceived as strong local support for conservation, I was surprised and disappointed to see the Bulletin editorial, “Wild and Scenic designation needs clarity” (July 20) which alleges that “intermittent streams are not really rivers and should not be considered as such,” and suggests they aren’t worthy of protection.

Without creeks and streams, there would be no magnificent rivers like the Deschutes or Willamette. Protecting only roaring rivers and leaving out small waterways would be like trying to score a touchdown with only the receiver and no quarterback. Some of the creeks and streams included in the River Democracy Act may only run seasonally, but they are every bit as deserving of protection as Oregon’s iconic rivers.

The piece dismisses these as “dried up creeks” without considering the importance of intermittent streams.

When small streams and wetlands are intact and healthy, they provide natural flood control and pollutant filtration and critical habitat for fish and wildlife. Streams that run seasonally as well as year-round provide all these services and act as the source of the nation’s fresh waters. Anything that pollutes or degrades these small freshwater streams has a negative ripple effect on downstream rivers and lakes.

I appreciate the thoughtful approach of this bill to protect a variety of waterways ranging from small seasonal streams to major rivers, and hope that Oregon gets to be the nation’s Wild and Scenic River leader.

— Shelley Davis, Bend

What about Bend’s livability?

The city of Bend will soon consider both the master plan for Stevens Ranch and annexing this area into the city.

Stevens Ranch is a 375-acre property south of Stevens Road and east of 27th Street, which will add 1,710 housing units and generate 25,068 “net weekday trips,” mostly on 27th Street.

This June, the Oregon Legislature also passed a bill that will bring the adjoining 260 acres into the urban growth boundary in 18 months, bypassing the normal UGB adoption process. If developed at the same rate as Stevens Ranch, this will add an additional 1,186 housing units and 17,380 trips for a total of 2,896 and 42,448 respectively.

According to Bend city Councilor Anthony Broadman, quoted in The Bulletin, the area “has the potential to be the densest master plan for a community in Bend’s history.”

As it stands, the master plan for Stevens Ranch appears to meet all the criteria set by the city. My objection to the master plan and the annexation is that there is no consideration of the impact this additional property will have on traffic and livability in this area.

To not examine the impact of the additional 260-acre parcel is particularly poor planning and extremely short-sighted. If we must have growth, we need to do this intelligently, not ignore other developments that we know are coming soon, or Bend’s highly touted “livability” will become only a memory.

— John Schaeffer, Bend

Thank you, first responders

I live in a senior apartment building in Redmond. On July 24 at 5:41 p.m., I dialed 911 services because a woman in our building was in distress.

From the moment I dialed 911 and the operator answered, it was go time. There was none of the usual 911 chitchat. The operator asked what was the address of the emergency, and from there went into a very organized, very detailed and very well-planned system that got our new resident safely away to the hospital.

It was unfortunate that we didn’t have more information regarding our resident since she has only been living with us for about a week. But the EMTs assured us that they would get the information they needed and that everything would work out well.

I just wanted to give a huge shout out to all the 911 personnel and the dedicated operator who is so perfect and practiced at the job he is doing. It’s so nice to know that we are safely in your hands in these difficult times.

Thank you for all you do. And please note, we stand behind you and beside you as a community. And we are constantly reminded of you dedication each and every time we dial 911.

— Linda Williams, Redmond

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