One concerning provision in this bill would establish "wild and scenic" designations on dozens of creeks near the Rogue River. This would greatly restrict fuel reduction activities on these lands, even though many of these creeks don't actually carry water most of the year. Having lived on the river himself, Curry County Commissioner Court Boice explained why this policy is a bad idea for the river and our economy.
In a letter to Oregon's congressional delegation, Sen. Herman Baertshiger also raised concerns that restricting the ability of federal land managers to reduce fuels would leave his hometown of Grants Pass and other nearby communities, "vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires similar to those California experienced last year."
A recent study by the U.S. Forest Service found that thousands of homes in Southwest Oregon are at risk of wildfire. Merlin, a small community near the Rogue River, was deemed to be at the greatest risk of wildfire of any town or city in the nation. During this unprecedented wildfire and smoke crisis, Congress should make it easier for federal lands to be managed, not more difficult.
Click here and send an urgent message today that the Oregon Wildlands Act is the wrong solution, at the wrong time, to protect these lands and nearby communities.