Canal restoration plan sparks debate in neighborhood

Resident says removing trees could harm habitat

Canal restoration

BEND, Ore. - A homeowners association south of Sunriver has created a Canal Restoration Committee to look at removing some downed trees in a canal that runs through the area. But that is drawing objections from at least one resident who is worried about the impact on area wildlife, including a threatened frog species.

The Deschutes River Recreation Homesites Unit 9 Homeowners Association sent out a letter late last week to the 104 homes in the neighborhood, stating that they would begin removing downed trees along the canal.

Paul Parrish, who lives along the canal, said Wednesday he doesn't want to see the canal changed. 

He said that the nature surrounding his house is what has made it home for the past 10 years.

"Since they let the canal go to the point that it's gone to, where Mother Nature has apparently taken over, I don't even think that the idea of pulling a tree out like the ones behind me here on my neighbor's property is a good idea, because that's going to affect the frogs too," Parrish said.

And the spotted frogs are a concern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as they were designated a threatened species on the Endangered Species List in 2014.

The chair of the Canal Restoration Committee, Anne Pierson, said she wants to make sure they comply with all rules when it comes to restoring the canal.

"We would rather as a homeowners association have approval by all the different government agencies, to tell us what we can do and what we can't do," Pierson said. "At the moment, these trees are on private property and they can be removed out of there."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said will be reaching out to the homeowners association and the county to make sure that the spotted frog and all other species are not going to be affected if trees are removed from the canal.

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