TERREBONNE, OR -- Bungee Jumping could soon return to Peter Skene Ogden State Park, north of Terrebonne. Chris Havel, with the State Parks and Rec Department, says a recent pilot project was so successful that the agency is looking to make a long-term deal to allow people to jump from a decommissioned highway bridge hundreds of feet above the Crooked River.
Havel tells KBND News the idea originally came from a local company. " They came to us saying ‘hey, this is a really popular spot. People want to bungee jump off of it. In fact, when you aren’t looking, they probably are bungee jumping off of it. Our chief concern was there’s a historic bridge here, there’s a park being used by other people. If we’re going to do it, if there’s demand for it, we want to make sure it’s done right." He adds, "They innovated a bit and brought back equipment that allowed people to experience bungee jumping there at the bridge without attaching anything to it. They developed a truck, specifically to allow people to jump off."
A pilot project took place at the park in 2015 and 2016, to evaluate the impact of such an operation. "We checked with visitors to the park, both when the bungee was operating and when it wasn’t, just to see if it was changing the park in some remarkable way. And, we found that it really wasn’t disruptive; and, in fact, people sort of liked seeing the bungee in operation." The impacts on area wildlife, including nearby nesting raptors, need more evaluation.
State Parks and Rec will start accepting bids for a long-term operation, this week. "Their proposal has to show us how they’re going to protect the park and work with us to change the operation, if it needs to, in order to protect wildlife. And, it includes a percentage of their gross back to the state. And, that’s usually in the area of 5%." The initial contract would likely be for two years, with renewal options to extend to 10 years.