Wild, pristine wilderness areas are a precious - and unfortunately, endangered - part of Oregon's natural heritage. Wilderness may be an intact forest ecosystem. It may be a vast landscape of desert sagebrush and lava rock, or a marshy wetland vital to the life cycle and survival of numerous animal species.
MOST RECENT UPDATES:
2.14.13 Sens. Wyden and Merkley introduce a package or protection bills for Oregon's Treasures. Press release.
3.22.12 Sens. Wyden and Merkley hold a hearing in the Senate to protect the Wild Rogue.
10.6.11 Gov. Kitzhaber nominates four proposed wilderness areas in Oregon to be included on national list of "crown jewels." Nomination letter, more info.
Wild, pristine wilderness areas are a precious—and unfortunately, endangered—part of Oregon's natural heritage. Wilderness may be an intact forest ecosystem. It may be a vast landscape of desert sagebrush and lava rock, or a marshy wetland vital to the life cycle and survival of numerous plants and animal.
Wilderness is simply an area where nature is left to find its own path, without interference from logging, roads and dams.
Oregon's pristine forest wilderness areas provide the purest habitat for salmon and are home to many rare and endangered animal and plant species. These areas serve as a critical anchor for biological diversity and are the source of clean drinking water for many Oregonians. When protected, they also offer an enduring legacy of wilderness recreational activities and adventure.
In 1964 Congress passed the Wilderness Act to protect the unspoiled character of these wild areas in Oregon and across the United States. Wilderness designation preserves the public's ability to enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, whitewater boating, horseback riding, hunting and fishing in these natural areas, while protecting land and the plants and animals that live there from destructive logging, mining, road building and other forms of development.
Most recently in 2009, some 202,000 acres of Wilderness were designated in Oregon, including 127,000 acres around Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.
Hard as it may be to believe, only four percent of Oregon is currently protected as Wilderness. Approximately five million additional acres of roadless natural areas remain suitable for wilderness designation, but are currently unprotected from logging, road-building, and other human development. Oregon Wild believes Congress should designate these remaining areas as Wilderness.
As leaders of the statewide Wilderness coalition, we seek permanent protection for Oregon's forested roadless areas 1,000 acres and larger. We also work to provide ecosystem restoration of public lands adjacent to core wilderness areas in order to heal damaged watersheds.
Follow these links to find out more about what Oregon Wild is working to protect:
Devil's Staircase Wilderness Campaign
Wild Rogue Wilderness Campaign
Mount Hood - Unfinished Business Wilderness Campaign
Oregon's Yellowstone Wilderness Campaign
Crater Lake Wilderness Campaign
Photo credits: Roaring River by Leslie Logan, Bald Mountain by Wendell Wood.
Purple = Wilderness protected in 2009
Dark Green = Wilderness protected pre-2009
Click here to download the KMZ file and even more viewing options with google earth.