Managers of Hells Canyon on the Oregon-Idaho border, the deepest river-cut canyon in the world, are hoping for more direction in dealing with increasing numbers of visitors, longstanding grazing and logging and a mandate to protect the area. Until June 20, the public can have a say in the future of the canyon by commenting on proposals for a new 10-year management plan.
The Forest Service will choose from five
alternatives for the National Recreation Area, including two vastly
different citizen alternatives, one placing a greater emphasis on
ecosystem protection rather than human activity; and the second
increasing logging and grazing.
O'Brien, facilitator of the group that developed the Native
Ecosystem Alternative, says, "We did not do a wish-list in this
alternative. What we did is what is basic common sense about how
you treat an ecosystem that is irreplaceable." The alternative
preferred by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest incorporates parts
of both citizen alternatives, says staffer Elaine Kohrman, but
allows for greater agency flexibility in the future for grazing on
vacant allotments, management of recreation and maintaining
The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
draft environmental impact statement can be found at
www.fs.fed.us/r6/w-w/hellscanyon/ or call 541/523-1206 for a copy.
E-mail comments to email@example.com or send comments to the U.S.
Forest Service, Supervisor Karyn Wood, Wallowa-Whitman National
Forest, P. O. Box 907, Baker City, OR 97814.