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Deschutes County launches project to update mule deer inventory; public meetings planned

Mule deer
Deschutes County
Mule deer

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County Community Development is initiating a process to create a new mule deer combining zone and a corresponding new code chapter to address uses in that zone. Three public information sessions will be held in April in Sisters, Bend and Redmond before a Planning Commission public hearing.

For rural properties under 20 acres with an existing home, generally no changes are being considered.

The purpose of the project is to conserve important mule deer winter range habitat in Deschutes County, to protect an important environmental, social and economic element of the area, and to permit development compatible with the protection of the mule deer resource.

This project will rely on input from the public to help shape the amendments as they go through the legislative process — first, hearings before the Planning Commission, beginning on April 13, and then a second set of hearings in front of the Board of County Commissioners.

Planning staff and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be holding three public information sessions prior to the first public hearing to explain the project and answer questions. Public Information sessions will be held on:

The Deschutes County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 13 at 5:30 p.m. The hybrid public hearing will take place at the Deschutes Services Center, Barnes & Sawyer Rooms (first floor) at 1300 Wall Street in Bend.

The County anticipates holding additional hearing dates after April 13, which will be determined at the initial hearing. Remote attendance information and meeting materials can be found at approximately one week prior to the hearing.

For more details, including maps of the proposed zone and proposed draft regulations, please visit

About this project: The first phase of this project took place in 2020-2021, in which Deschutes County initiated the process of considering updates to three of its Goal 5 wildlife inventories. Utilizing an Interagency Working Group (IWG) of wildlife biologists from state agencies as well as an independent wildlife biologist consultant, the IWG collected and vetted new biological data to define these new inventories. Learn more here.

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