Details of proposed national monument are outlined – December 10, 2000

Details of proposed national monument are outlined

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
December 10, 2000


A proposal for a national monument near Diamond Lake would protect 206,600 acres of land on the Umpqua and Rogue River national forests, including 8,353-foot high Mount Bailey, the centerpiece of the proposal.

Also included would be Diamond Lake, a popular fishing, boating and resort destination in the Southern Oregon Cascades.

It would be called the Medicine Mountain National Monument. The proposal is backed by Umpqua Watersheds, Inc., a local environmental organization, said Liz Stevenson-Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Umpqua National Forest in Roseburg.

The Forest Service has not been involved in the proposal, except to provide background information on the area to Jim Lyons, Agriculture Department undersecretary for natural resources, Stevenson-Shaw said.

The proposed monument would include 196,000 acres of Umpqua National Forest land; the balance is in the Rogue River National Forest. It includes roughly the eastern half of the Diamond Lake Ranger District.

The proposed monument is bordered on the north by the Willamette National Forest and on the south by the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness Area, Highway 230 and Crater Lake National Park. To the east lies the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area; on the west is Boulder Creek Wilderness Area.

The Mt. Thielsen Wilderness Area is nearby.

About 24,400 acres in the proposed monument area are designated riparian reserves; another 24,600 acres are set aside for resorts, campgrounds and other administrative uses. The balance, about 147,600 acres, is designated for commercial use including logging. About 106,000 acres are suitable for logging under terms of the Northwest Forest Plan, Stevenson-Shaw said.

Backers say that while significant logging has already occurred, many extensive old-growth stands are undisturbed and classed as late-successional reserves. These are areas set aside to protect threatened northern spotted owls.

Some such stands of Douglas fir are estimated to be as much as 600 years old.

The area is a year-round recreation center, drawing about three-quarters of a million visitors annually. It includes 15 campgrounds, two resorts, three guide services, 300 miles of trails for hiking, horses and snowmobiles, and the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway.

Reporter John Bragg covers agriculture and natural resources.