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Medford Conservationist Inspires Camp White Wildlife Area

Camp White spread across 77 square miles in the Agate Desert north of Medford, Ore., during the Second World War. Torn down after the war, most of the buildings were sold and hauled away, except for those that became the White City Department of Veterans Affairs Domiciliary.

The governor initiated a brighter future for the land by appointing a committed conservationist, Kenneth Denman of Medford, Ore., to the State Game Commission, now the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. Denman saw an opportunity to deal with Camp White’s remaining wildlife area.  Assuming the commission’s chairmanship in 1952, he said, “I take this responsibility because I am anxious to save these wildlife resources for all of our kids.” Denman’s lobbying to preserve the area led to the federal government transferring 1,760 acres of Camp White at no cost to Oregon in 1954, provided it was used as a wildlife management area.

Known as the Denman Wildlife Area since 1963, it offers fishing in permanent ponds, retriever field training, and hunting, especially for game birds.  These activities co-exist with hiking, picnicking and wildlife preservation and viewing.

Sources: Miller, Bill. "Who Inspired the Denman Wildlife Area." Mail Tribune 22 Apr. 2007 [Medford, Ore.] . Web. 19 Aug. 2014; "Denman Wildlife Area." ODFW Visitors' Guide. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Web. 19 Aug. 2014. 
"“Nike Rocks: Black Labrador and his Medford handler ride a string of wins to top honors,”." Mail Tribune 12 Apr. 2013 [Medford, Ore.] . Web. 19 Aug. 2014. 

Dennis M. Powers was a business law attorney with various real estate and business ventures before teaching as a full professor and later professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (b.a.), the University of Denver Law School (j.d.), and Harvard Business School (m.b.a.).