Central Cascades Wilderness Recommendations

Oregon Wild Recommends the following issues be considered in the development of a plan to address increased use in the Central Cascades Wilderness. Check back later as there will be more to come. Click here for more background on big picture issues affecting the root of this issue. 

  • Cost for the permits has yet to be determined but should be the absolute bare minimum to avoid pricing the public, at any income level, out of our public lands.
  • Change the permit requirement dates to be June 1st through Labor Day to minimize the impact in the shoulder season.
  • We support a holistic approach to mixing and matching of what trails and zones are covered by this new proposal. We encourage the Forest Service to ensure that a permit at one trail head doesn’t simply bump the overcrowding issues to the next trailhead two miles down the road. Alternative 4 describes this concept.
  • We encourage the Forest Service to work with groups like the Deschutes Trails Coalition and tourism groups to encourage more Leave No Trace education.
  • We encourage the Forest Service to prioritize more Wilderness rangers in the peak season to educate hikers and campers on Leave No Trace and how to minimize their impacts.
  • We support including some flexibility in how many people are linked to each permit without increased cost. For example, allow permits to be for 1-2 or 2-3 or 3-4 people in their group. Planning for groups can be difficult in advance. Losing spontaneity is one of the downsides of a permit system and this would enable at least some flexibility for groups to have a little spontaneity.
Email the Forest Service to share your preferences and recommendations here: comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes@fs.fed.us 
Photo: Green Lakes Trailhead, Three Sisters Wilderness. Photo credit USFS.