Oregon Wild, trying to draw attention to its campaign against intensive logging in Bureau of Land Management forests, put Oregons O&C forests atop its new list of the 10 Most Endangered Places in the state.
The conservation group opposes HR 1526, a bill pending in Congress and supported by Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden, that could privatize 1.5 million acres of public forests.
"These forests are in our backyards – they are the places that give us clean drinking water, old-growth forests to hike in, and a foundation for our tourism and recreation economy," says Sean Stevens, Oregon Wild executive director.
The group took recommendations from several other conservation organizations in compiling its fifth-annual list.
The rest of the Top 10, and the reasons they were cited, are:
2. proposed wilderness near Crater Lake – threatened by logging and helicopter tours
3. Columbia River Gorge – threatened by coal trains and barges headed to proposed coal export terminals
4. Lost River Basin and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge – threatened by agribusiness draining the river and the National Wildlife Refuge
5. Rogue River – threatened by suction dredge mining
6. Owyhee Canyonlands – threatened by catastrophic fires and off-highway vehicles
7. White Castle-Myrtle Creek Watershed – threatened by clear-cutting under the BLM's White Castle Timber Sale and Myrtle Creek 2013 Project
8. Rough and Ready Creek – threatened by nickel mining and off-highway vehicles
9. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest – threatened by the Snow Basin logging project and other large-scale logging in fragile forests and roadless areas
The tenth and final item on the list was Waldo Lake, which Oregon Wild says is threatened by motorboats and float planes that spoil quiet recreation experiences and threaten the lakes purity. But while the report was being drafted, the Oregon State Legislature permanently banned float planes from the lake.
For more information: http://www.oregonwild.org/about/press-room/reports-and-fact-sheets/10-most-endangered-places-2013.