Wyden Wilderness Willy Week Thank You
Like your mother always used to say: "Always say your please and thank yous."
For you keen observers of the past five years of Oregon Wilderness politics, you know it has been a long road to get to the top of the Mount Hood Wilderness summit. Oregon Wild staffer Erik Fernandez started drawing lines on the map almost ten years ago, seeking to identify the last strongholds of Wilderness on the Mount Hood National Forest.
This month, the lines on the map suddenly mean much more after the US Senate passed the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act along with four other Oregon Wilderness bills. Despite the broad public support for protecting Mount Hood and the Columbia Gorge, the road to protecting these special places has been a tortuous one at times.
But, someone who was always there fighting for protections is Oregon's senior senator Ron Wyden. Check out this video of Ron introducing the Mount Hood bill back in February of 2007:
Now, let's be clear. We haven't reached the other side yet. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have to navigate to the end and there might be an economic stimulus bill running us off the road in the next two weeks. We can count on our other Wilderness champs, Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer, to make sure protections our secured in the US House of Representatives.
In the meantime, Oregon Wild joined with nine other Wilderness coalition partners today to publicly thank Senator Wyden for his efforts to safeguard a Wilderness future for Oregonians. Our full page ad ran in the Willamette Week today featuring pictures of each place that Ron helped protect--Mount Hood, the Columbia Gorge, Copper Salmon, Soda Mountain, Badlands, and Spring Basin.
Of course, this is just the first of many deserved thank yous. As mentioned above, Oregon's elected leaders in the House also deserve great thanks. So do the many businesses and local leaders who stood up and called out for greater protections for our forests, streams, and wild vistas. And of course, no series of thank yous would be complete without thanking the thousands of activists who sent letters, made phone calls, attended meetings, and put their hearts and souls into securing these protections.
Mom always said to say your thank yous. So, we'll go ahead and start now.