A wilderness designation will preserve Crater Lake, its wildlife and its outdoor recreation opportunities forever. It's time to give this iconic park the protection it deserves.
Crater Lake has been recognized as a place worthy of reverence and special treatment by people for thousands of years. Starting in the late 1800s, citizens advocated to officially recognize and protect it, and in 1902 it became our fifth national park, predating the National Park Service itself by 14 years. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States with water so clear, you can see more than 100 feet down – farther than even storied Lake Tahoe. Wilderness protection will keep Crater Lake the remarkable place it has always been.
Disneyland in the Cascades?
Despite becoming a national park, development proposals for Crater Lake began almost immediately after the park’s founding in 1902. In years past, even the Park Service proposed drilling a tunnel and blasting roads down to Crater Lake. And a local congressman, inspired by a visit to Disneyland, once proposed a giant aerial gondola ride from the rim to Wizard Island with restaurants and a marina on the lake. More recently, geothermal drilling and logging up to the park boundaries have been proposed. Wilderness designation would save Crater Lake from degrading development plans inside the park, and wilderness on public lands around the park would further protect its integrity.
Crater Lake is worth millions
Travel Oregon has billed Crater Lake as one of the state’s “seven wonders,” and the park is a major economic engine, especially for nearby communities. More than 750,000 people explored the park in 2016, supporting more than 1,100 made-in-Oregon jobs and generating over $65 million in visitor spending. Wilderness designation would protect what people are coming to see and living in the area to enjoy.
Crater Lake is connected
Crater Lake is located along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, a legendary hiking route from Mexico to Canada. The park is surrounded by thousands of acres of wildlife-rich and scenic forest lands which provide a wild setting and shared habitat for the park and the lands around it. The headwaters of the Rogue and Klamath Rivers lie within the park, and the Umpqua, Willamette and Deschutes are born in the forests and snow-capped peaks nearby. The Crater Lake region is still home to mountain lions, marmots, elk, black bears and now even wolves. Protecting Crater Lake and the surrounding landscape around it as wilderness protects one of the largest scenic, recreational and wildlife areas still existing in Oregon.
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