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Wilderness Advocates Want Protections For Crater Lake

<p>Bob Allen speaking in front of Sen. Ron Wyden&rsquo;s office at an event to bring Wilderness protection to Crater Lake. Allen is on the board of Umpqua Watersheds.</p>

Eric Tegethoff

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Bob Allen speaking in front of Sen. Ron Wyden’s office at an event to bring Wilderness protection to Crater Lake. Allen is on the board of Umpqua Watersheds.

Wilderness advocates delivered more than 30,000 petitions to Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore) Portland office Tuesday in support of designating Crater Lake and the surrounding area as protected wilderness.

The proposed boundaries for the Crater Lake Wilderness would make the National Park into a 75-mile, 500,000-acre corridor of protected area.

That's two-and-a-half times the size of the current park.

Wilderness designations are used to limit human activity, and can even include bans on motorized vehicles.

Environment Oregon state director Rikki Seguin said she wants Wyden to submit a bill on Crater Lake to Congress this year.

“The only way you can designate land as wilderness is by going through Congress," said Seguin. "And that’s going to take a champ like Sen. Ron Wyden stepping up to the plate and introducing a bill.”

Wyden visited Crater Lake this summer as part of his seven wonders of Oregon tour.

After the trip, he drafted a bill to boost the outdoor recreation economy in the state.

Wyden’s office says he would consider the wilderness protection proposed in the petitions.

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Eric Tegethoff