Congress Passes Oregon Wildlands Act - Devil's Staircase Wilderness

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teachpdx
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Congress Passes Oregon Wildlands Act - Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Post by teachpdx » February 27th, 2019, 4:48 pm

The rugged Devil's Staircase Wilderness is only a single signature away from becoming the newest Wilderness in Oregon.

Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress, the Oregon Wildlands Act protects the 30,000 acre Devil's Staircase Wilderness in southwest Oregon along with multiple rivers across Oregon. It's just a presidential signature away from becoming law, which looks nearly certain.

Here's the link: https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/news/g6 ... -bill.html

The hike to Devil's Staircase waterfall is one of the most treacherous off-trail adventures in the state, and it's practically impossible to find without a familiar person to guide. And as we all know, GPS tracks and even directions to the trailhead are pretty heavily censored by all of us who practice digital LNT.

I'm just curious as to the opinions of people on the site. Will the creation of the Wilderness lead to any improved access/trails to places like Dark Grove and Devil's Staircase? Should trail(s) be created for easier access and greater safety, now that it will surely become more well-known? Or should this all just be left as-is?
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drm
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Re: Congress Passes Oregon Wildlands Act - Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Post by drm » February 28th, 2019, 8:05 am

Not familiar with the area and won't comment what should happen, but the creation of a wilderness area does not necessarily mean trails will be built. Assuming the land was already Federal, making it wilderness makes it most costly to build a trail since mechanized tools cannot be used. And various environmental assessments would need to be made. However if there are social or informal trails in regular use, that could be an inducement to build a maintained trail if it is felt that the existing social trail follows a route that results in some kind of damage or negative impact, and a maintained trail was necessary to prevent that.

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BigBear
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Re: Congress Passes Oregon Wildlands Act - Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Post by BigBear » February 28th, 2019, 12:38 pm

It's difficult to determine from the maps that load for me, but here's my question:

Is Kentucky Falls in the proposed wilderness, or is it just north of the boundary?

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adamschneider
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Re: Congress Passes Oregon Wildlands Act - Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Post by adamschneider » February 28th, 2019, 1:00 pm

BigBear wrote:
February 28th, 2019, 12:38 pm
It's difficult to determine from the maps that load for me, but here's my question:

Is Kentucky Falls in the proposed wilderness, or is it just north of the boundary?
Not even close. The proposed Wilderness only goes as far north as the main fork of the Smith River.

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Webfoot
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Re: Congress Passes Oregon Wildlands Act - Devil's Staircase Wilderness

Post by Webfoot » May 28th, 2019, 8:39 am

Unlike the image above from the 2009 proposal, Forest Road 41 was not preserved as a Wilderness exemption in the enacted bill. I find that an unfortunate change; it seems like a missed opportunity to provide legal bicycle access on an existing road grade. How do others feel about this?

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