Before it enters the main canal, the water passes through an historic elevated flume along the banks of the river, including Lava Island Falls, a popular world class kayaking destination. Arnold Irrigation District proposes to bury the flume and construct a road on top of it that would be a mile-long eyesore visible from the River Trail along the west bank of the river and will possibly deposit massive amounts of construction material into the river, illegally altering the river’s right channel.
This earthen dam-like monstrosity along the federally protected Wild and Scenic Upper Deschutes River would be visible to hikers along the river, residents on the west bank and visitors who stay at Seventh Mountain Resort. The heavy equipment used to bury the flume would cause other collateral damage to wildlife habitat and private property as well.
We are concerned that Arnold Irrigation District owns over 7-acres of riverfront property adjacent to their flume project area, directly across the river from Widgi Creek Golf Course yet it fails to disclose its plans for this property and how their modernization project might enhance its value.
This proposed project is screaming for an Environmental Impact Statement.
Here is a video showing plans to bury the flume portion of the Arnold Canal near Lava Island Falls on the Wild and Scenic Deschutes River.