Senate Passes Bill To Establish Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in Oregon

Feb 12, 2019

The U.S. Senate Tuesday passed a public lands package that includes protections for the Devil’s Staircase in Oregon. Conservation groups are hopeful the legislation will also be approved in the House.

The Devil's Staircase is named for a waterfall within the forested parcel between Reedsport and Eugene in southwest Oregon.
Credit Andrew Kumler

The Natural Resources Management Act includes the Oregon Wildlands Act. It designates about 30-thousand acres in the coast range of southwest Oregon as wilderness. Josh Laughlin is with the conservation group Cascadia Wildlands in Eugene.

“It’s an incredibly encouraging next step toward permanently protecting places like the propose Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range which houses centuries old rainforests, provides unique salmon and wildlife habitat and is really an inspiring remnant of what the old coast range once looked like.”

The legislation also expands protection for the Chetco and Elk rivers in Oregon. Laughlin expects it to pass the house in the next couple of weeks. Then it will go to the president’s desk for his signature.