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Badlands Wilderness endorsed by COTA

Press Release: COTA Endorses Badlands Wilderness
February 23, 2004

Local Mountain Bike Group Endorses Badlands Wilderness

Bend, OR -- The Central Oregon Trail Alliance has endorsed designation of the proposed 37,000-acre Badlands Wilderness 15 miles east of Bend. COTA’s endorsement was a result of a collaborative effort between COTA and the Oregon Natural Desert Association.

COTA and ONDA struck a deal which makes a minor adjustment to the southern border of the proposed Wilderness. The adjustment will preserve access to an existing mountain bike trail allowing cyclists to continue to enjoy one of the most challenging and scenic trails in the area.

"With this adjustment, we’re excited about the Badlands becoming Bend’s own backyard wilderness area," said Eric Meglasson, president of COTA, "and we’re happy that the two groups were able to work together on this issue that is very important to our members."

The Badlands is unique for its unusual geology, old growth juniper and critical winter habitat for elk and deer. It is one of the more pristine desert landscapes close to Bend, and provides a unique educational and recreational asset to Bend’s growing population.

The proposed Badlands Wilderness has been an on-going grassroots effort involving key landowners willing to exchange certain lands to enhance the management of the proposed wilderness area, including local rancher Ray Clarno, Matt Day of Hooker Creek, and the Central Oregon Irrigation District.

"A lot of folks have been working intensely on this proposal for the past couple of years," said ONDA representative, Bill Marlett. "By making a minor adjustment to the wilderness boundary, we were able to keep open a technical trail used by bikers that otherwise would have to be closed because bikes are prohibited in designated wilderness."



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