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Governor Kulongoski endorses Oregon Badlands Wilderness

Governor expresses support for Spring Basin, Badlands Feb 24, 2008

The Oregonian
By Governor Ted Kulongoski,

Thirty years ago today, President Jimmy Carter signed the Endangered American Wilderness Act, protecting treasured areas such as the Rogue River in southern Oregon and French Pete in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area.

This anniversary honors Oregonians' commitment to preserving the amazing wilderness areas that make Oregon unique. Our appreciation for natural beauty and our love of the outdoors is part of the Oregon identity, and we need to make sure that what defines us as Oregonians is not lost.

While Oregon has a rich history of preserving our natural treasures, the reality is that far fewer of our state lands are protected by the federal wilderness act than in our neighboring states. Only 3.7 percent of Oregon's land is protected under the National Wilderness Preservation System. California protects 14.4 percent and Washington protects 10.1 percent. Idaho and Nevada are also ahead of Oregon. While this is not a competition, Oregon has one of the richest landscapes of anywhere in the United States, with far more areas deserving wilderness status than are currently protected.

In Oregon, we are fortunate to have wilderness advocates on both sides of the aisle in our congressional delegation and, as governor, I will continue to work with them to protect more of Oregon's wilderness. I have supported the work of Sens. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Greg Walden to include more wilderness areas in the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Bill. I have supported the establishment of the Copper-Salmon Wilderness Area, and I am now lending my support to additional areas like the Badlands Wilderness Area outside of Bend and the Spring Basin Wilderness Area near John Day. The addition of these, and other areas, would build on Oregon's conservation legacy.

As I look back at the many great achievements Oregonians have made in protecting our environment, it is clear that we place high value on the mountains, rivers, streams and forests that make up this beautiful landscape.

There is no other place in the world I would want to live, and I am committed to building on the legacy of our protected wilderness. I want my grandchildren to hike the same trails and gaze over the same vistas I have and understand, too, that there is nowhere more beautiful than Oregon's most wild places.

Ted Kulongoski has served as governor of Oregon since 2003. He frequently backpacks in Oregon's wilderness areas. As a state representative in 1978, Kulongoski testified in support of the Endangered American Wilderness Act before the Senate Subcommittee on Parks and Recreation and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.


From our calendar of interesting events:
Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 7PM, Badlands Supporters Meeting, Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas in Bend.
A key window has just opened for Central Oregonians to push this designation forward and so we have the best opportunity we have ever had to protect this wild, high desert beauty. Join the Friends of the Badlands and ONDA to find out how we can make it happen.




Read more . . .
Oregon Natural Desert Association - ONDA
Governor Kulongoski stumps at the Bend Oregon Airport

Photos of a Wilderness inventory near Juntura, in eastern Oregon
ONDA survey of Owyhee Canyon
Owyhee Canyon Wilderness study area
Oregon's Owyhee River inventory delivered to BLM
About the Owyhee River wilderness inventory with ONDA

Pulling barbed wire fence at the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge with ONDA
Scenes from an ODFW - STEP volunteer 1,000 mile drive around eastern Oregon
Backpacking Big Indian Gorge in The Steens   
NOLS group on an Owyhee River Canyon adventure
Owyhee River desert lands - Jordan Valley Rodeo
Steens Mountain wedding in Eastern Oregon

USFS Five Buttes Healthy Forest fire reduction program in Central Oregon
Bob McGown, AAC Section Chair, builds a telescope pad at Pine Mountain Observatory
Becoming an Outdoors Woman classes in LaPine, Oregon with the ODFW
Pulling barbed wire fence at the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge with ONDA
A tour of the aftermath of the B & B forest fire with the Sierra Club
Governor Kulongoski stumps at the Bend Oregon Airport
Adopt-a-Road with TraditionalMountaineering
The Bend Bicycle Festival 2004
Wolves introduced to the High Desert Museum
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Adopt-A-Highway with TraditionalMountaineering
Department of Inferior dumps wilderness protection
An ODFW juvenile steelhead sampling project near John Day, Oregon
The ODFW juvenile steelhead survey in the stream
Owyhee Canyon wilderness study area in south east Oregon
ONDA's Owyhee wilderness inventory camp near Rome, Oregon
Riverfest river cleanup in Bend Oregon
USFS Mud Bog poster
A Pay to Play bust
President Bush reassures us that SUVs do not damage the environment!
President Bush overlooking the environment
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Fee Demo demonstration in Central Oregon