Tumalo Creek is Bend’s backyard recreation waterway, including the magical headwater springs, the scenic Tumalo Falls, the challenging canyon trails, the heart of Shevlin Park and the confluence with the Middle Deschutes.
Increasing flows in Tumalo Creek, to at least the minimum instream flow goals, is essential to restoring fish habitat and preserving the scenic and recreational opportunities the creek provides. Tumalo Creek is the only cold water tributary for more than 60 miles of the Middle Deschutes River and increased flows of Tumalo Creek are essential to restoring and creating a blue ribbon fishery in the Middle Deschutes River.
For decades Tumalo Creek has been degraded by the diversion of its waters, sometimes to the point that only a trickle ends up flowing into the Middle Deschutes. While substantial amounts of formerly diverted water have been returned to other rivers in Central Oregon in recent years, such as the Middle Deschutes and Whychus Creek, the flows in Tumalo Creek at critical periods are still far below even minimum instream flow goals. Still, the City of Bend plans to potentially increase its current water consumption of two billion gallons of Tumalo Creek per year to over four billion gallons.
The Save Tumalo Creek Campaign seeks to increase flows in Tumalo Creek, to restore a healthy fishery to Tumalo Creek and the Middle Deschutes River, and to protect the other environmental and recreation resources of the creek by:
- working with the City of Bend and Tumalo Irrigation District to achieve greater in-stream flows and prevent any increased consumption plans for Tumalo Creek;
- working with state agencies to monitor and enforce flows and water quality;
- and, working with the US Forest Service to carefully manage the forests around Tumalo Creek to preserve the habitat and recreational opportunities that we all enjoy.
Paul Dewey, Central Oregon LandWatch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541- 420-8455, www.centraloregonlandwatch.org
Darek Staab, Trout Unlimited, email@example.com, 541-480-6976, www.tu.org