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Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies 2017

The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests are considering visitor use management strategies for five wilderness areas in the central Cascades in order to reduce resource impacts caused by increasing recreation use. The five wilderness areas are Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo Lake, and Diamond Peak. Wilderness staff and managers are seeing substantial increases in the number of visitors to wilderness, which is impacting many of the more popular sites. Current management is not successfully addressing the impacts associated with growing use. Impacts from visitors include degradation and loss of meadow and riparian vegetation, tree damage, presence of human and dog waste, widening and braiding of trails, and compaction of sites. There is a need to manage visitor use in the five wilderness areas in order to reduce recreation-related resource impacts and to maintain the wilderness character. Actions to reduce impacts are required to meet the purposes of the Wilderness Act and to meet the direction in the Deschutes and Willamette Forest Plans. The purpose of this project is to devise a strategy that implements management techniques in the most impacted areas and provides action thresholds for areas that may begin to see those kinds of impacts with an expected increase in use. The strategy will seek to balance the preservation of natural conditions by addressing physical impacts fro recreation use, while continuing to provide opportunities for visitors to experience recreation in the wilderness. A great deal of information on wilderness background, legislation, management, research and more is available to the public on wilderness.net.

Location Summary

Project addresses five Central Cascades Wildernesses. Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo Lake, and Diamond Peak.

Forests: Deschutes National Forest, Willamette National Forest

Project Documents