Rep. DeFazio Celebrates Oregon Caves Expansion
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Peter DeFazio joined Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley in Josephine County to celebrate the expansion of the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve. Thanks to legislation passed by Congress last December, the site increased nearly eightfold, from 480 acres to 4,550 acres.
In addition to the land expansion, the legislation also designated the River Styx, which travels through the caves, as the first underground river in the country to be considered “scenic” under the “wild and scenic program."
“More than 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration first proposed expanding the boundaries of the Oregon Caves to provide greater protections for one of our state’s most geologically unique places,” DeFazio said. “It is an honor to stand here today and see that dream become a reality. This is an important moment in our state’s history and a wonderful tribute to Oregon’s legacy of responsibly managing its most precious assets and providing new recreational and economic opportunities in Josephine County.”
Click here to learn more about the Oregon Caves National Monument from the National Park Service website.
Additional notes on DeFazio’s work on the expansion:
DeFazio first became involved in the Oregon Caves more than 20 years ago. He introduced legislation during three different sessions of Congress to expand the Oregon Caves boundary (110th Congress, 111th Congress, 112th Congress). Finally, as Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee in the 113th Congress, DeFazio was able to request the “Oregon Caves Revitalization Act” be included in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY15, which was signed into law in December 2014.