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KWW Protection Plan

Our Proposal

A Different Approach

Preservation Goals

Cascade CorridorCascade Wildlife Corridor from WA to CA borders

The Oregon Sierra Club Keep Waldo Wild campaign seeks to add legislative protection to approximately 76,000 acres in the Waldo Lake area of the Oregon High Cascades. This additional area is vital to maintain the watershed and exceptionally pure water quality of the lake, maintain the north/south wildlife corridor link from the Three Sisters Wilderness to the north and Diamond Peak Wilderness to the south, and preserve the pristine old growth area along the Cascade Crest and Pacific Crest Trail.

Stakeholder Interests

Our original goal was to create additional Wilderness Areas to complement the existing Waldo Lake Wilderness and Three Sisters Wilderness Areas. However, as we introduced the idea to other users of the area, such as mountain bikers and trail runners, it became quickly apparent that our proposal for Wilderness designation for the entire area would meet with strong opposition from these very environmentally engaged organizations. The area is heavily used by the mountain biking communities from Bend, Oakridge, and Eugene, and also is the location for an annual ultra-marathon race that goes through the greater Maiden Peak and South Waldo areas. These user organizations are strong environmentalists and are active stewards of the trails they use.

Another Way

Consequently, we explored other ways of accomplishing our primary goals of permanently excluding logging and motorized vehicles from the area. This led us to the National Conservation Area model used extensively on BLM lands, which establishes multi-user conservation areas, but yet provides strong environmental protections for those areas. We propose establishing a Forest Conservation Area that will surround Waldo Lake on the east and south sides to buffer the lake from environmentally damaging uses. We also propose five Wilderness Area Additions that will protect especially pristine and visually unique old growth forest areas adjacent to the existing Three Sisters and Waldo Lake Wildernesses. This concept has obtained enthusiastic approval from both local and national runner and mountain biker organizations. We consider their support as essential to the political viability of adding permanent legislative protection for this stunning High Cascades area of Oregon.

Establish a Waldo Forest Conservation Area

There are eight units proposed for additional protection that will jointly comprise the Waldo Forest Conservation Area of about 60,000 acres. While a new concept for National Forests, the Forest Conservation Area is adapted from the National Conservation Area model used extensively for Bureau of Land Management lands. This model provides tailored protections for areas while also allowing compatible recreation use. The Waldo Forest Conservation Area will protect the areas from logging and motorized vehicle use, while continuing to allow use of the area's trails by mountain bikers and ultra-marathon trail running groups.

There are eight proposed Waldo Forest Conservation Area Units:

Create Wilderness Area Additions

We are also proposing five additions to the existing Waldo Lake Wilderness and Three Sisters Wilderness:

Our Map

The map below shows our proposed protection areas surrounding Waldo Lake.

The existing access roads and campgrounds are outside our proposed protection areas. The mountain bike trails considered important by the Bend, Oakridge, and Eugene mountain biking associations (see more on the "Maps" and "Contacts and Endorsement" pages on this subject) are contained in the Forest Conservation Area where they will remain open to mountain biking. This is also true for the trails used by the Waldo 100 Ultra-marathon annual trail run. All areas will remain open to hiking, camping, and equestrian activities.

The entire area proposed for protection, both Forest Conservation and Wilderness Additions, is currently designated Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA) by the Forest Service. It is also not designated as an area open to logging by the Willamette and Deschutes National Forest Service Land Use Management Plans (see more on this on the Maps page). Click on the map below to see a larger version.

Waldo Conservation AreasKeep Waldo Wild Proposed Forest Conservation and Wilderness Area Boundaries
Click on the map to open a larger version.

More Maps

We have more maps - to help you understand how we drew our proposed boundaries and established our protection model. Enjoy!

A Draft Legislative Bill

Review our draft legislative language for implementing our Waldo Area protection plan: Waldo Protection Bill Draft.

Next, Our 2014 Campaign Plan

Now that understand how we want further protect the Waldo Lake area, read about our 2014 Campaign plan to make it happen.

Waldo from FujiWaldo Lake from Fuji Mountain - Photo by Mike Brinkley