REDMOND, OR-A 320-acre parcel of undeveloped federal land just south of the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center is stirring up a lot of interest these days.

Officials from Redmond, Deschutes County, the Oregon Military Department, the federal Bureau of Land Management, the Division of State Lands and a developer of a proposed entertainment complex all have an interest in the property. The BLM owns the land.

Following a meeting in Redmond this week, each group appears to be in favor of master planning the entire area before proceeding with any changes, though it may not stop behind the scene lobbying in the meantime.

Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch says the property’s uses should complement the county fairgrounds, preserve remnants of a wagon trail on the property for cultural value and consider the military’s needs. An Oregon Military Department training area shares the land’s eastern boundary.

The county fair board also would like to see the property kept open for fairgrounds expansion, and would like Deschutes County to acquire the property. County Commissioner Dennis Luke says the city of Redmond should control the property because the city will feel the greatest impact of any development.

Finally, ForestSports Inc., an Oregon Corporation that proposes building an entertainment complex on the site, has asked the Division of State Lands to acquire the property from the BLM. The BLM does not lease to for-profit groups, but the State Division of Lands does.

The entertainment complex proposal could include a 70-acre public camping area, a 2-acre indoor and outdoor go-kart track, a 50-acre aquatic center which would include slides, pools and rides, a 70-acre roller coaster theme park, and a 100-acre motor-sports complex.

The BLM says it would be willing to exchange the land. The Division of State Lands says for the state department to acquire the land it has to be Common School Trust Fund land, which the state says must earn the maximum revenue possible for partial contribution to state and local schools. State Lands also says it will need a master plan before deciding if it wants to pursue the land.

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