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WILDERNESS COMMITTEE UPDATE

Published March 8th, 2022 in Wilderness

The Wilderness Committee is updating the Crater Lake Wilderness Proposal (CLWP) to incorporate current environmental issues such as climate change, carbon sequestration, clean water, and drought. The committee argues that the proposed wilderness areas will sequester carbon and protect the headwaters of the following rivers: Rogue, North and South Umpqua, Little Deschutes, Klamath, and Spring. In this time of drought and fire, the protection of waterways will be crucial to both ecosystems and local communities. Protecting biodiversity is critical also.

The Wilderness Committee is continuing to enlarge the platform and scope of the CLWP by collaborating with larger organizations that support the proposal. These efforts resulted in Chandra LeGue, of Oregon Wild, including the CLWP in her February presentation about Oregon’s role in the 30×30 campaign, also known as America the Beautiful. This is a national conservation initiative proposed by the Biden administration as part of the presidents’ 2021 executive order on tackling the climate crisis. The initiative recognizes that many uses of land and water can be consistent with the long-term health of natural systems and contribute to addressing climate change and environmental injustices.

The Department of the Interior recently sought comments on how the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a new tool that will be used to reflect baseline information on the lands and waters that are conserved or restored, can best serve the public and reflect a continuum of conservation actions. The Atlas is part of the America the Beautiful initiative. Susan Applegate responded on behalf of the Committee with an impressive document about admitting the Crater Lake Wilderness to the Atlas. Susan also wrote to Oregon native, Mr. Chuck Sams, the new National Parks Director, to inform him about the CLWP. She will be working on an article for the National Parks Conservation Association on the historical relationship of the Applegate family with Crater Lake and tie it in with the current day CLWP.

Robbin Schindele is updating the Wilderness Committee site on the UW website and Tony Cannon is finalizing his wonderful video to put on the site. Bob Hoehne is planning a write-up about the CLWP to submit to several national organizations he is a member of. Bob has also been asked to write a tribute about Douglas County’s beloved Frank Moore for a national fishing magazine. We are having great meetings and discussions and enlarging our scope. Please join us if you are curious or interested. We meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 6 pm. We have been meeting on zoom. You can contact me for the link at diana@umpquawatersheds.org.

~Diana Pace

 

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