Bend is the county seat of Deschutes County, Oregon, United States, and the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and, despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. With a population of 52,029 at the time of the 2000 census, Bend's estimated population was 82,280 in city, 170,705 urban, and 197,890 in metro as of July 1, 2009. Bend is located on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range along the Deschutes River. Here the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the Great Basin high desert plateau, characterized by arid land, junipers, sagebrush, and bitter-brush. Originally a crossing point on the river, settlement began in the early 1900s. Bend was incorporated as a city in 1905. Economically, it started as a logging town, but is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, white-water rafting, skiing, and golf.