Crooked River Ranch Roundup

by: JOHN BOWLER - Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Capt. Shane Nelson discusses the office's role at the Ranch with residents on Monday.Although the vast majority of Crooked River Ranch residents live within the boundaries of Jefferson County, some residents don’t realize that about 10 percent of the lots are located in Deschutes County.

Oregon’s largest subdivision has over 2,600 building lots, with a total of 208 of the lots in Deschutes, not Jefferson County, which might not be widely known.

That’s a situation that the Ranch Club and Maintenance Association wanted to correct by inviting Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton to attend the board’s regular April 15 meeting, in order to “kibitz with Ranch residents,” according to Ranch Administrator Judy LaPora, who issued the invitation on behalf of the homeowners association.

Blanton was out of town on that date, and dispatched a well-qualified pinch-hitter to represent him and his office. Capt. Shane Nelson, an eminently likeable representative of Deschutes County, attended a special session at 5 p.m. in the Ranch Juniper Room, an hour ahead of the HOA April board meeting.

Nelson was introduced by HOA President Ben Johnson and stepped right up to the plate to make his presentation, welcoming the opportunity to represent his organization to a group of people at the northern border of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office’s territory.

From the outset, the 19-year veteran showed the assembled Ranchers that he knows his job well by explaining how the DCSO is organized to carry out its mission at Crooked River Ranch. It was evident from the ensuing question and answer session that Nelson had gained not only the Ranch audience’s ear but their respect, too.

His underlying message was that the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is there to help protect the interests and property of Ranchers living in the portion of the ranch located in Deschutes County, primarily by being visible and responsive to calls for their services.

Nelson also emphasized a close working relationship with Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins and his organization, which does not preclude overlapping their territories if the need arises.

While he declined to speculate on how many hours of patrol his 12-person shifts spend on the Ranch to deter crime, he said they were primarily a pro-active organization, instead of just being a responsive one. That includes an annual outdated document-shredding and prescription turn-in event.

In a Leader Limo program, his department recognizes contributions to the community from young adults by driving them to lunch in an inherited limousine.

The DCSO has also set up a large animal shelter big enough to house donkeys, llamas and the like that are found astray or incapacitated and won’t fit into regular Humane Society shelters.

He said his concept of a leash law his department would enforce was “have your animal under control at all times.”

Except in emergencies where life or limb are threatened, he suggested calling for his department’s services at 541-693-6911.

For further information on the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, visit The upshot of last Monday’s special meeting is both the Ranch HOA and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office are working in concert.

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