Oregon Wild Madness
Upon winning Oregon Wild Madness, the Opal Creek Wilderness has been deservedly crowned Oregon's Favorite Wild Place of 2013.
Oregon's Favorite Wild Place of 2013:
With towering old-growth forests and clear, colorful waters, Opal Creek has certainly earned this year's title. Located about 30 miles east of Salem, Opal Creek boasts some of the most amazing old growth anywhere in Oregon, including a trio of thousand year-old cedars.
The campaign to protect Opal Creek brought national attention to the need preserve Oregon's last remaining old growth in the 1990s, and Oregon Wild (then Oregon Natural Resources Council) worked for years to preserve this iconic area. In 1996, Opal Creek was, at last, permanently protected as Wilderness, when signed into law by President Clinton.
We started with 32 of Oregon's most amazing wild places going head-to-head in a March Madness-style tournament with your votes determining the winners. In the end, over 3,000 votes were cast and Opal Creek narrowly defeated Crater Lake to claim the title in the second annual Oregon Wild Madness.
Oregon Wild Madness Background
Inspired by the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, the goal of Oregon Wild Madness is to generate excitement and a personal stake among outdoors fans for all the outstanding wild places throughout Oregon.
And just about every locale in this year's Oregon Wild Madness was a place Oregon Wild is currently working to protect, or has worked to protect in the past.
The 32 wild place entries faced off in head-to-head matches just like the NCAA tournament, with your votes determining which wild places advanced to the following round.
By voting for your favorite wild places in Oregon, participants were eligible to win prizes from Oregon Wild Madness supporters, including Barking Mad Farm Bed and Breakfast, Timberline Lodge, and North Umpqua Outfitters.
Prize winners were announced April 11th. Thank you to all of our sponsors for your support, and we'll see you next year for the third annual Oregon Wild Madness!
Photos (top to bottom): Opal Creek (Stan Newman); Eagle Cap Wilderness (Sue Niezgoda); John Day Basin (Greg Burke).