What is a National Recreation Area?


As of 2014, Congress has designated 22 National Recreation Areas on National Forest across the United States. If designated, the Ochoco Mountains National Recreation Area would make the 23rd. This designation offers a pragmatic and individualized approach to protecting the Ochoco Mountains while still allowing for a wide variety of uses.

  • A National Recreation Area (NRA) is a federal designation that can be personalized to address the specific and unique attributes of the area. No two National Recreation Areas are managed the same.  The Ochoco Mountains NRA would include specific language and management direction that reflects the characteristics of thi specific landscape.
  • A National Recreation Area designation protects public lands that a Wilderness designation may not be suitable for.  A National Recreation Area would not only address conservation, but balance the needs of recreation and restoration across the landscape.  
  • In some cases a National Recreation Area can be an overarching designation that includes pockets of Wilderness and other areas of non Wilderness. The Ochoco Mountains proposal is primarily a National Recreation Area with only a few small pockets of Wilderness in the backcountry.