BEND, OR -- A portion of the Pilot Butte Canal in northeast Bend is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The segment between Cooley Road and Yeoman Road recently received the designation from the National Park Service.
Residents in the nearby neighborhood hired attorneys to apply for the designation, in part, to make it more difficult for the local irrigation district to pipe the canal that runs through their properties.
Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger tells KBND News the announcement took him by surprise. "[I was] actually shocked. I thought that, when the Governor came out with the letter saying she did not support this action, and then the County Commission and the Historical Society basically requested that they look at the big picture review of the whole system before they made a decision, that they would've sort of honored those requests and gone down a different path," Unger says. "But, obviously, it's a win for the neighborhood."
He adds, "These are decisions being made at a federal level that effect us locally, that are sort of another indication of are we all on the same page? Are we all listening to each other? So, at sometime, I'm going to bring that up to our federal delegation and ask that question."
The canal was built in the early 1900s to irrigate area farms and helped spur rapid growth and development of Central Oregon.