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Badlands Wilderness endorsed by Bend City Commissioners


Bend board endorses Badlands designation

By Rick Attig
Bulletin Staff Writer

The Bend City Commission Wednesday unanimously endorsed a proposal to have the Badlands east of the city designated a wilderness area.

The commission passed a resolution in support of the proposal following a 15-minute slide show by Alice Elshoff, a Bend woman who has led the effort to preserve the

The Badlands, about 32,000 acres of desert, lava rocks and juniper trees 14 miles east of Bend, is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The city commission has no role in designating the area as a wilderness area, but agreed to support the effort of Elshoff and other who are lobbying the BLM for the change.

Elshoff said the wilderness designation would protect the area from off-road vehicle use, overgrazing, illegal woodcutting and trash dumping. In a colorful slide presentation, Elshoff showed the variety of animals, birds and plants that live in the Badlands, which is known for its lava outcroppings, wide-open vistas and ancient Indian rock paintings.

A second speaker at the commission meeting, Gail Root of Bend, said he opposed the wilderness designation because it would prohibit all motor vehicle use in the area.
Root said he agreed the Badlands is a very “beautiful and unusual” place, but he said, existing restriction are adequate.

He said prohibiting motor vehicles in the area would effectively close the rugged area to use by anyone other that “strong hikers,” and that elderly persons, children and less experienced hikers would not be able to see much of it.

However, the commissioners said they believe there are enough access points around the perimeter of Badlands to ensure use by many people without motor vehicles.



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Read more . . .

  The Badlands Wilderness
OpEd - Unregulated OHV use is being reviewed across the western states
OHV use curtailed by new USFS policy decisions 
Sierra Club's Juniper Group supports Badlands Wilderness 
OHV regulation discussed at BLM meeting in Bend, Oregon
OpEd - Badlands part of BLM's recreation management area  
OpEd - We need the Badlands Wilderness 
OpEd - Off-roaders have no reason to fear Badlands Wilderness designation
Speak for the Badlands at Town Hall Meeting 
Hiking poles are becoming essential gear 
Vandals destroy ancient pictographs in the Badlands
Senator Wyden tests support of Badlands Wilderness 
The Badlands: proposed for Wilderness status

The Badlands, a brief history  
The Badlands pictographs reported 75 year ago

Map of huge exclusive OHV areas adjoining the Badlands