Keeping the people out of public lands
n 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or
“absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to
simply spend time in nature — no actual bathing required.
It’s a low impact immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of nature
without the physical impact of running. A remake of stop and smell the
To accommodate your nature experience, on May 6, US Representative
Earl Blumenauer-introduced H.R. 7665, Mt. Hood and Columbia River
Gorge Recreation Enhancement and Conservation Act. The bill will
protect 350,000 acres of new National Recreation Area increasing
protected lands tenfold from the 2009 bill, significantly expanding the
area for your pleasure of “forest bathing.”
The new recreational area butts up to the Warm Springs reservation
east of Mount Hood.
It forms a tribal co-management system, first in the
nation, and the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge in
land management decisions through Indian Treaty Resources Emphasis
Zones. Treaty rights for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs
Reservation include rights—particularly around food gathering—that
have been harmed by past actions on the Forest, including Wilderness
Additionally, 7,500 acres are added of Wilderness working around Hood
River County five irrigation districts that have water rights on Mount Hood. Oregon Wild was hoping for 30,000 acres and to express their
dissatisfaction they rallied a phone campaign to Blumenauer’s office.
Steve Pedery, conservation director of Oregon Wild, believes the
additional national recreation area puts the Pacific Crest Trail at risk,
and does not prioritize recreation over timber sales by expanding
cutting in watersheds and scenic areas.
he expansion of 7,500 acres of new wilderness should be the bigger
concern. This designation requires the land remain unspoiled, roadless,
and limited to non-motorized non-invasive recreation. The 92 miles of
Wild & Scenic Rivers added to the bill basically follows the same rules.
Nearly two percent of Oregon’s 110,994 miles of river are designated as
wild & scenic – adding to 1,916.7 miles.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Road closures in these areas
have made it more difficult to fight fires will increase risks, and we are now headed into wildfire season.
The bill requires a wildfire risk assessment for the Mount Hood National
Forest, the Columbia River Gorge, and any private, state, or tribal land
adjacent to those areas. It creates a comprehensive, coordinated,
multi-jurisdictional plan to improve safe, equitable, and ecologically
sustainable access to Mt. Hood and the Gorge.
that these plans will prioritize reliable and user-friendly transportation
and transit options including recreational access and emergency
he devastating fire in the Gorge in 2017 made it clear that this region
is at high risk for wildfires. The bill attempts to protect this area from
wildfires by proposing a modern approach to mitigate fire risk through
prescribed burns and other ecologically sound treatment practices.
Anti-forestry groups have pressured the Biden Administration to ban
logging on National Forest System lands under the guise of protecting
“old and mature forests” even though there are no universally or
scientifically-accepted definitions of what “old” or “mature” trees are.
This policy along with Blumenauer’s bill, and the drought is a
prescription for less “forest bathing” and more wildfires that no one is
|Post Date: 2022-05-14 11:03:31||Last Update: 2022-05-14 11:19:45|