House should pass wilderness protection bill
Last week, Rep. Peter DeFazio introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would protect one of the most rugged and wild areas left in the Oregon Coast Range. This bill would create a wilderness area for the Devil’s Staircase, an area of 30,000 acres near Reedsport.
The Coastal Range used to be an area of old growth forests that was a one-of-a-kind place in the country. However, extensive logging has reduced nearly all of the Coastal Range to a patchwork of tree farms and clearcuts. The Devil’s Staircase is pristine and untouched, and serves as a historic landmark of what the range used to be like. It is very important to permanently protect it from logging by making it wilderness. Only 4 percent of Oregon’s public land is set aside as wilderness, while surrounding states like Idaho, Washington and California have more than 10 percent of their public land protected.
It’s time for Oregon to step up and protect more land, as we all know that we have just as many amazing places in our state.
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