Monday, November 28, 2005

Oregon Coast Wilderness
While unspoiled beaches along Oregon's 300+ miles of coastline are, thankfully, plentiful-old growth forests are about as common as affordable housing in Seattle. Most of the sprawling conifer forests that abut the sandy shores of the Beaver State have succumbed to the axe and saw over the last century. Large tracts of ancient forest are a rarity. But, not all of the giant trees came tumbling down. A few parks and preserves along the coast have managed to protect a few groves here and there. The largest tracts of old-growth along the coast are protected within three small wilderness areas in the Siuslaw National Forest between Newport and Florence. The Drift Creek Wilderness offers the most accessible trails and some of the biggest trees among the three areas. But now with the Forest Service no longer cutting the giants down-Congress has cut the Forest Service's budget-and many of the trails in Siuslaw are in danger of disappearing. I have an upcoming article in Outdoors NW on hiking the wilderness areas of the Oregon Coast. Look for it. In the meanwhile call your Senators and Representative in Congress and demand that our National Forests be funded properly for trail maintenance and resource protection.

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