PORTLAND — Oregon conservation groups are putting pressure on Congress to designate a large swath of public land, including Crater Lake National Park, as a federal wilderness area.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that representatives from Oregon Wild and Environment Oregon delivered a petition in support of the proposal to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden's office Monday. The petition garnered 37,000 signatures and calls for having 500,000 acres declared the Crater Lake Wilderness Area.
In a statement, Wyden, a Democrat from Portland, said protecting natural treasures is a top priority for Oregon.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Eugene Democrat, says he thinks he'll have to focus on preserving already protected areas rather than expanding them, based on statements from President-elect Donald Trump and Republican leadership in Congress.