But wait! Misinformation?
A Wyoming lawyer who happened to find herself in Bend, Oregon is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Sarah Falen, adviser to non-profit “environmentally friendly agriculture” outfit Perfect Balance, was in town on behalf of local farmers who are struggling with drought-ish conditions. Not enough water etc. but there, right in front of her outraged face, river surfers were partaking in river surfing.
Taking to TikTok, Falen declared, “I found the water that the Oregon farmers have paid for but don’t get to use and they are going out of business over because they can’t irrigate their crops — they are being completely sucked dry. It is right here in Bend, Oregon. What we are complaining about here is if the farmers get to irrigate, this river fluctuates by six inches at max. And because of six inches, farmers in Madras are going out of business. Don’t get me wrong this area is beautiful but we need to get our priorities straight.”
Anti-river surfers immediately jumped to her side, the general sentiment being, “Yep, let’s put farmers out of business over six inches of water so people can surf on fake waves on the river. Obviously, recreation is more important than food.”
Administrators were confused once the screed went viral. Mike Britton, executive manager for North Unit Irrigation District, telling the Bend Bulletin, “I’m not sure I understand the logic behind her statement that the waterpark is putting farmers out of business because the river fluctuates six inches? The water park does create operational issues for the irrigation districts at times but doesn’t prevent us from receiving the water we’re entitled to.”
And the Bend Park & Recreation District, which operates the Whitewater Park, immediately attempted to tamp down fury, posting, “The Whitewater Park has zero effect on flows in the river. The amount of water that flows in up here at the top is the exact amount that leaves at the bottom. This park requires zero (additional) water to function. It doesn’t take any water from the river it doesn’t add any water to the river. It gets all of its energy from nine feet of elevation drop.”
Falen, though, is not backing down, announcing to the aforementioned Bend Bulletin, “Quite frankly we have been trying hard to find someone to sue over this and there isn’t anything, so we want to change public perception over how the Endangered Species Act works.”
While Gerry Lopez, Bend’s most famous wave slider, has yet to make an announcement it’s hard not to feel for the local river surfers. A tough burden to bear in the best of times.
Send love and light their way if you can today.