The Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group commends the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests for holding a hearing on legislation to protect more than 16,000 acres of wilderness in the lower John Day River area of Eastern Oregon.
“The Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven Wilderness Act of 2010 has moved one step closer to enactment today,” said David Dreher, policy manger for the Pew Environment Group's Campaign for America's Wilderness. “One of the great things about this bill is the impressive collaboration between local landowners and conservation groups— regardless of party or ideology – everyone came together to try to improve the management of the land. And resource-wise, protecting nearly three miles of shoreline along the free-flowing John Day is significant.”
This legislation, introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), will provide critical habitat protection for three dozen sensitive plant and animal species including spring Chinook salmon, Pacific lamprey and Mountain Quail and will protect an important wintering habitat for deer, elk and antelope.
“We applaud Senators Wyden and Merkley for their work with a diverse group of local stakeholders and for their continued effort to protect Oregon's most amazing wild natural areas,” added Dreher. “We hope to see this well-crafted bill move quickly and provide these areas the highest form of protection that only wilderness designation can.”