In preparation for the Planning Commission on September 1st, planning staff is finalizing drafts of the remaining Chapters of Wasco County 2040. This includes revisions to policies and implementation strategies related to Goal 8, Recreation.

You can review the draft Chapter here: Goal 8 Recreational Needs 

Most of the proposed updates intend on making the Comprehensive Plan consistent with current practice and process.  For instance, policy one had several implementation strategies that have been accomplished, like the restriction of open camp fires during wildfire season.  Strategies like these have been replaced with measures to make the current rules more clear, like noticing requirements to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for development along the Deschutes and John Day rivers.

One of the most consistent themes we heard during the last several years of Wasco County 2040 was concerns about the conflict between recreation and commercial agriculture.  This typically is as a result of the warm months bringing out bicycle tourism during harvest, which can create hazardous conditions on County roads.

To help mitigate this conflict, we have added some implementation strategies to work with Wasco County Departments and outside tourism agencies to increase education to visitors about harvest.  Current planning staff is developing a handout that details harvest times, alternative routes, and available parking/bathrooms to help reduce these conflicts.  Wasco County Planning will also continue to work with Public Works on special events that happen on the roadway to ensure residents have notice.

We are interested in hearing your comments about this draft.  You can submit comments here, or send us a letter or email up until the September 1st hearing.