Ranch at the Canyons update

May 07, 2014
Open spaces near Ranch at the Canyons protect scenic views near one of Central Oregon's iconic landscapes, Smith Rock State Park.

By Brad Chalfant

For those who've had a chance to hike the new Summit Loop Trail at Smith Rock State Park, you probably already know that a portion of the trail crosses onto private property owned by the Ranch at the Canyons and conserved by the Deschutes Land Trust.

Since 2007, the Land Trust has held a land protection agreement with the owners of Ranch of the Canyons that protects 550 acres next to the Park. The agreement conserves Sherwood Canyon (a side canyon off the Crooked River) that is sandwiched between the Crooked River, Smith Rock State Park, and federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Our agreement protects scenic views, as well as an important winter range for deer and elk. Permission to extend the trail across the ranch was a generous gesture from the Ranch and we ask that the public reciprocate by using the trail responsibly.

More recently, The Bend Bulletin reports that the new Ranch ownership has voluntarily committed to reducing the number of homesites they intend to develop by a third, which will maintain more open space and reduce the visual impacts around one of Oregon's most iconic landmarks. Hat's off to all concerned!