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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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City Council Decides to Proceed with Bull Run Land Exchange

Portland City Council voted last week to approve the proposed Bull Run Land Exchange through an Exchange Agreement.

This is a land-for-land exchange between the Mt. Hood National Forest and the City of Portland that conveys approximately 2,890 acres of National Forest System land to the City in exchange for approximately 2,200 acres of City-owned lands, all within the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit. The exchange affects approximately 5 percent of the lands within the unit.

The proposal consolidates City ownership to lands surrounding the two water supply reservoirs and associated water infrastructure. The Forest Service will acquire forested uplands that the City originally purchased from private landowners, mostly in the late 1800s and early 1900s. An independent, professional land appraisal determined that the financial value of the properties proposed for exchange was equal, and therefore no payment for lands for either party will occur.

The exchange does not change management of the lands. Both City-owned lands and the Forest Service lands in Bull Run are managed in partnership and for the primary purpose of protecting the water source of the City of Portland.

One of the immediate benefits of the exchange is savings of an annual payment of approximately $150,000 that the City makes to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—essentially to "rent" federal land for a hydropower purpose. The annual payment is not required if the licensed operation is located on City-owned land. The longer-term benefits for both the City and the Forest Service are to simplify the administration of land boundaries inside the management unit.

Next Steps

This Council action committed the City to proceed with finalizing the land transaction, culminating in the recording of deeds. Finalizing the land transaction will take approximately 12 months after the Exchange Agreement is signed.

Background Information

The City of Portland and the Mt. Hood National Forest agreed in February 2010 to pursue a land exchange. The initial public scoping period for the land exchange process ended on Sept. 30, 2010. The public comment period for the 2015 Amended Agreement to Initiate (a document that contained additional details about the exchange) ended on March 25, 2016.

The draft National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document (a Preliminary Assessment) was made available for public review in July 2017. The Forest Service published a final Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact in March 2019. Visit the Mt. Hood National Forest website for more information on the steps leading to the current proposal.

Maps describing current land ownership and ownership after the proposed land exchange are available. The parcel legal descriptions in the Exchange Agreement correspond to the mapped parcels shown on the map at the top of this article.

Aug. 13, 2019: Administrative Review Committee Meeting

The Administrative Review Committee reviews ratepayer requests for account adjustments, proposed account actions, and other disputes concerning water, sewer, and/or stormwater accounts.

The purpose of the Committee is to review account issues that ratepayers have been unable to resolve with the bureaus’ Customer Services group. The Committee weighs policies, rates and special circumstances when reviewing an account. The Committee may accept the customer’s request, offer with an alternate remedy, or deny the appeal. Administrative Review Committee decisions are bureau decisions.

The Administrative Review Committee is made up of:

Meeting Information

Pioneer Tower
Bureau of Environmental Services, Pioneer Room
4th Floor
888 SW 5th Avenue
Portland OR 97201

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Agenda: Click here

For More Information

Review the City of Portland Water, Sewer, and/or Stormwater Billing Appeal Policy (ADM-14.02).

Questions? Contact us at (503) 865-2755 or

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact 503-823-7432, City TTY 503-823-6868, Relay Service: 711.

Save Water and Keep Your Lawn Green with This Simple Change to Your Home Irrigation System

Fact: July is Smart Irrigation Month, a time to check your home irrigation system and see how it’s working for you.

To help you celebrate this special time of the year (Hello, sunshine!), let’s get nerdy about spray heads.

When you have an automatic irrigation system, you have spray heads that distribute the water on your landscape.

A Smarter Way to Water

Fixed spray heads spray water droplets in a fan shape.

Multi-stream rotating nozzles can use less water than traditional fixed spray heads.

Have you ever looked at a traditional spray head and noticed water misting near the nozzle head? That’s because most traditional spray heads don’t work efficiently at higher pressures, which can lead to water-wasting evaporation that appears as a fine mist.

Multi-stream rotating nozzles are a great water-saving solution to keep your plants green and happy. They operate at a range of pressures, so they don’t cause the evaporating mist. The nozzles provide more uniform coverage than fixed spray heads by shooting out rotating streams of water, preventing gaps and dry spots.

Why switch to multi-stream rotating nozzles?

  1. Easy installation. Most conventional fixed spray heads can be easily swapped out for multi-stream rotating nozzles.
  2. Easy on the wallet. At about $6 a nozzle, multi-stream rotating nozzles are a relatively inexpensive way to improve your watering system.
  3. Free money! If you purchase multi-stream rotating nozzles, you may qualify for a rebate of $3 per nozzle from the Portland Water Bureau. Check the list for qualifying hardware, then send in a completed rebate application with the receipts or invoices attached.

Celebrate smart irrigation in your yard this summer! Pick up multi-stream rotating nozzles at your local irrigation specialty store, apply for a rebate, and let the water savings begin.


Our Water Efficiency team can help: 503-823-4527 or

Learn more about Portland Water Bureau irrigation rebates: