Crater Lake Wilderness Proposal
Keep Crater Lake Wild!
Beyond the Caldera
Crater Lake and its surrounding wildlands have inspired people for generations, as it provides the postcard image encapsulating Oregon's natural beauty, heritage and commitment to conservation. But despite the popularity of this state icon, Crater Lake is not actually protected Wilderness.
Every year, Crater Lake National Park attracts half a million visitors who come to gaze into its pure, clean water, to marvel at its unique geology, and to explore its rugged backcountry, first preserved in 1902.
But the natural beauty of Crater Lake extends far beyond Wizard Island and the caldera. It includes spectacular roadless lands inside and outside of the official boundaries of the park, including the Pumice Desert, the craggy spires and wild forests of Mount Thielsen, the rugged backcountry of Mount Bailey, and the headwaters of the Rogue and Umpqua rivers. Many of these prisine areas are perfect for hikers looking to experience the true beauty and of Crater Lake.
Check out our new hiking page, Secrets of Crater Lake: Hikes and Adventures From the Rim and Beyond
A helicopter tour operator is seeking a permit for flights into the park, over its backcountry, and along the crater rim. The noise pollution from these flights would undoubtedly destroy the quiet of the park, disrupt wildlife, and greatly diminish the experience for the vast majority of park visitors.
In addition, a misguided Forest Service logging project known as Bybee proposes to clearcut forests just west of the park boundary. Miners have also staked a number of claims within the proposed Wilderness along the South Umpqua River, and could do significant, lasting damage to the river system. Unfortunately, there are several other logging projects - D-Bug, Loafer, and Marsh - that all threaten the Crater Lake Wilderness.
Sign up to get more information on the threats to Crater Lake, and what you can do to protect Oregon's only National Park. Additional details are in our plan of action below.
To combat the misguided logging of the Bybee project and the threat of noisy helicopter flights over the National Park, Wilderness protection is needed. For this effort Oregon Wild has partnered with Umpqua Watersheds, the Crater Lake Institute, and the team at Environment Oregon as well as others.
Wilderness designation is the gold standard when it comes to protecting America's public lands. Conservationists and the National Park Service have long argued Crater Lake and its surrounding wildlands deserve Wilderness status.
Our proposal would protect 500,000 acres both within and outside the Park boundaries. This would create a 90-mile protected corridor of habitat with very few disturbances along the southern Cascades. This corridor will be critical for wildlife as they adjust to climate change. The proposal would not affect any of the existing access roads within the park or the lodge. An interactive map of the proposal can be found below.
Wilderness mean good business! See a list of businesses from all across the state that support the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal.
Call Senator Ron Wyden at (503) 326-7525 and encourage him to protect the Crater Lake Wilderness. (or send him an e-mail here).
Map of Proposed Crater Lake Wilderness
(Map may load slowly)
Dark Green = Potential Wilderness
Light Purple = Already Protected Wilderness
Click here for a pdf map
Mountain Biking and the Proposed Wilderness
Oregon Wild has been meeting with IMBA and other regional/local mountain bike clubs for the past several years in an effort to work together on this proposal from an early stage. We hope to have help from the clubs in identifying which areas might have overlap with important bike trails. Once those trails are identified by the bike clubs we hope to then work together to maximize protection while minimizing impacts on mountain bike access. We believe most mountain bikers are conservationists, so we are hopeful that we'll be able to find significant areas of agreement.
Oregon Forest Homes
The Crater Lake Wilderness proposal does not include any cabins, homes, or other residences. In addition, there are no "forest homes," otherwise known as Forest Service permit cabins, included in the proposal. If the above map includes any, it is an error and will be fixed. Please notify Wilderness Coordinator Erik Fernandez if this is the case.
For information about hiking opportunities around the Crater Lake area, visit our Secrets of Crater Lake Hiking Page!