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DeFazio and Blumenauer Annouce Wilderness Plan

Apr 1, 2008
Press Release

Oregon Treasures Vision Includes Mt. Hood, Oregon Caves, and Wild Rogue

April 1, 2008

Washington D.C. – Today Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and EarlBlumenauer (D-Ore.) announced their plan for increasing Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers in Oregon this year. Their vision includes adding approximately 132,000 acres of Wilderness, 79.6 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, and 34,550 acres of National Recreation Areas to the Mt. Hood National Forest. It also calls for over 142 miles of new Wild and Scenic rivers for Rogue River tributaries, and adds protection for the Oregon Caves National Monument.

– Today Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and EarlBlumenauer (D-Ore.) announced their plan for increasing Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers in Oregon this year. Their vision includes adding approximately 132,000 acres of Wilderness, 79.6 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, and 34,550 acres of National Recreation Areas to the Mt. Hood National Forest. It also calls for over 142 miles of new Wild and Scenic rivers for Rogue River tributaries, and adds protection for the Oregon Caves National Monument.

"Our beautiful state has so many places that are worthy of congressional recognition," Congressman DeFazio noted.  "I am thrilled to be able to work with my colleague Congressman Blumenauer to bring protection to just a few of them.  From the tributaries of the Wild Rogue, to the Cave Creek watershed, to the iconic Mt. Hood, we have an historic opportunity to leave a natural legacy for the next generation."

"These unique places are indeed worthy of protection," said Congressman Blumenauer. "I have worked for over five years on a proposal to protect Mt. Hood for future generations. Throughout that process, I have been amazed at the number of Oregonians who care deeply about increasing Wilderness areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers on the mountain. I look forward to working with Congressman DeFazio and the entire Oregon delegation to pass a bill that protects Mt. Hood and other Oregon treasures. I strongly encourage the Senate to consider our proposal."

The "Oregon Treasures" proposal would include areas proposed for wilderness and wild and scenic rivers protection in the Senate’s pending Lewis and Clark Mt Hood Wilderness bill, with an additional 6500 acres of wilderness in the Mt. Hood National Forest. These areas include: the Salmon Huckleberry "Keyhole," Bluegrass Ridge, and Boulder Lake. The proposal would also add over 142 miles of tributaries to the Lower Rogue Wild and Scenic River, and increase drinking water protection and public recreation opportunities for the Oregon Caves National Monument with a 4,000 acre boundary adjustment.

In 2006, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5025, the "Mt. Hood Stewardship Legacy Act." In 2007, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed the Lewis and Clark Mt. Hood Wilderness Bill of 2007, but the bill has yet to clear the full Senate.