The wild areas around Mt. Hood need a protection plan that will safeguard Oregon's watersheds, wildlife, and recreation areas now before they are lost to these threats.
As Oregon and the nation prepare for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, we are poised to commemorate this historic event for the next two hundred years by permanently protecting the remaining wild lands in the Mt. Hood National Forest - from the Columbia Gorge to Mt. Hood, from Mt. Hood to the Clackamas, and from the Clackamas to Mt. Jefferson. So that future explorers can experience wild Oregon.
To protect Mount Hood the Sierra Club is working on:
Protecting ancient forests and wildlands as Wilderness.
Obliterate roads and restoring damaged forests and thereby providing outdoor job opportunities for logging families and communities.
Working on protecting fresh drinking water like the Crystal Springs and the Lost Lake Butte and Marco Creek area in Hood River
Protecting recreational opportunities through the designation of Wild & Scenic Rivers throughout the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Right now, the Oregon Congressional delegation is considering moving forward a proposal to protect lands in the Columbia Gorge, on Mt. Hood and in the southern reaches of the Mt. Hood National Forest. The Sierra Club is optimistic that this proposal will restore balance on this forest.
In 1986, Congress passed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act to protect the scenic, natural, cultural and recreational resources of the gorge. The Act designated an area that included thirteen existing urban areas. It intended to allow appropriate development within these urban areas while providing protection for the remaining 90 percent of the lands. The Act depends on local governments to formulate and enforce land use laws that conform to the goals and objectives set out in the federal legislation. The states of Washington and Oregon are required to staff and fund a bi-state commission to oversee execution of the Act.
The existing federal laws are not enough to protect the remaining special places in the Columbia River Gorge. The Sierra Club, along with other local organizations, is working to educate local residents, visitors and public officials about the valuable resources that remain in the gorge. Stronger enforcement of the Scenic Areas Act and land acquisition are necessary to preserve the spectacular beauty, culture and history of the Gorge.
The purchase of sensitive and scenic lands by the Forest Service must be accelerated. These measures can also help create economically healthy and sustainable local communities.
Dams in and near the Gorge generate a substantial amount of electrical power for the region. Still, options do exist for trading some electricity production for improved river flow. Drawdowns of key reservoirs at critical migration times will allow quicker and less damaging trips through the gorge for the river's endangered wild salmon.
For more information about the Sierra Club's Lewis and Clark campaign or to find out how you can help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.