KWW Campaign Plan
When We Started, Where We Are, Where We're Going
In 2010, Dave Stowe joined the Juniper Group in Bend. He soon started talking about this beautiful land of his youth where he paddled on a crystal pure lake and hiked through old growth mountain hemlock and never saw another human. He said this place was called Waldo Lake. And as on cue, we all asked: "Where's Waldo?".
So Dave took us there that summer as soon as the snow melted. And it was glorious, just as he said. So we were hooked. We knew we needed ensure this beautiful stayed the way it is for future generations.
During the 2010/2011 Winter we worked with Oregon Wild to understand the work they had already done to explore and catalog the Waldo area. There's a wonderful book by Andy Kerr, published by the then Oregon Natural Resources Council, called "Oregon Wild: Endangered Forest Wilderness". Page 144 describes several proposed Three Sisters Wilderness Additions, one of which is an 80,000 acre area east and south of Waldo Lake, described in exciting detail on page 146. Oregon Wild was kind enough to give us both their GIS map data and their blessings. Our campaign was launched.
During the summer of 2011 we conducted field trips to check all the proposed boundaries. We found some of the areas we had hoped to protect as Wilderness had been clearcut in the last half century. We also found some areas that had been roaded were now blocked off, overgrown, and not shown on the Forest Service Travel Management Plans as roads. That was encouraging. All our field trips were documented with photographs and GPS tracks, which we refer to today.
And, we held our inaugural Waldo Weekend Campout August 11 to 14, much to the mosquitos' delight, because that was the year the snow melted really late. But we had fun exploring this beautiful place and introducing it to 25 other Oregonians.
In 2012 we introduced our ideas to other stakeholder groups in the Central Oregon, Oakridge, and Eugene areas. Not everyone's response was favorable. Wilderness Areas would prohibit mountain bike use and also disenfranchise the Waldo 100K Ultramarathon annually run through the Maiden Peak and South Waldo areas. This caused us to re-examine our concept. The result was the current hybrid concept of a Forest Conservation Area, based on BLM National Conservation Areas, and limited Wilderness Areas Additions contiguous to existing Wilderness.
Last year was a banner year for our campaign. We completed revising our concept and creating campaign materials to introduce it other organizations, the public and politicians. We worked with the Central Oregon Trail Alliance and the International Mountain Biking Association to bring them on board, and we have. The new hybrid concept and draft legislation was introduced to the National Sierra Club and approved. The annual Waldo Weekend Campout exceeded our wildest dreams gathering nearly 70 happy campers at the Shadow Bay campground to hike, kayak, and swim in the Waldo beauty. And we successfully lobbied the Oregon Legislature to pass SB 602 to permanently ban gas motorized boats and seaplanes from Waldo Lake. Awesome!
For 2014, we're already on a roll! The Bend based Central Oregon Trial Alliance and Sisters Trail Alliance, both mountain biking organizations, have endorsed our Keep Waldo Wild campaign in writing. You can read their letters on our Contacts and Endorsements page.
Our goals this year are:
- Gather endorsements from other environmental organizations, recreation associations, local business, local politicians, the tribes, and anyone else who wants to jump on board.
- Finish our campaign materials, such brochures, table displays, a fact sheet, unit descriptions of geology, flora, fauna, recreation, and unique esthetic values.
- Introduce our legislation to our Congressional delegation and work to gain their support.
- Start a Letter to the Editor and Letter to your Congressperson to advocate passage of legislation.
- Conduct Congressional Staff tours of the Waldo area when the snow melts.
- Create a compelling video with testimonials and awesome shots of this beautiful area.
- Hold our Fourth Annual Waldo Weekend Campout with even more Happy Campers than last year.
- Attend the Wilderness 50 celebration in Albuquerque NM October 15 - 19 to convince many more people to Keep Waldo Wild.
- Convince a Senator or Congressman to introduce our bill as legislation in Congress!
- Get our Waldo legislation passed. That's what it's all about!! We're hoping there will be a Wilderness 50 Omnibus Bill that even this Congress can find a way to pass.
Join Our 2014 Campaign
We need you. There's a lot to be done to protect Waldo. And we're all volunteers, many of us with jobs and families, so each person's time is limited. The only way Waldo will be permanently protected is if we multiply our time and energy with YOU!
To find out where you can help our campaign in a way that fits your talents, energy, and time, go our KWW Contacts page.