Steens Mountain in Southeast Oregon at Risk!

1.12.2007
The view from the top of Steens Mountain (Alvord Desert below)


The BLM in Oregon is considering opening up Steens Mountain to Off Road Vehicles (ORVs).

Steens Mountain, nestled in the corner of Southeast Oregon, towers above the Alvord Desert and Hot Springs. I love this area because of the severe lack of people and noise. It's one of the best places to go hiking and backpacking with hot springs rewards waiting to soothe your aching body. This area is also composed of protected Wilderness and Wilderness Study areas.


The East side of Steens Mountain


The only other folks I've run into in the area are either locals, hikers, backpackers, Bighorn Sheep hunters and rock hounds. So, why does the BLM want to open up Steens Mountain to ORVs? My best guess is to provide hunters easier access to Bighorn Sheep. 90% of the hunters I've met were either drunk, lazy or both. I've heard complaints from the hunters that they can't get their rigs high enough up the mountain. It seems that the nice trails and brief hike are just too much for this out of shape group. And, we're talking about the east side of the Steens. On the west, one can drive the Steens Mountain loop all the way up to the top!

What the BLM is considering could seriously undermine the very qualities that make Steens special by dramatically increasing off-road vehicle (ORV) use and officially permitting ORVs in currently protected Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas!

We Need To Take Action!

There's still time left before the BLM formalizes their proposal. Click here to view, edit and send the BLM a letter!

More About Steens Mountain

Steens Mountain towers one vertical mile above the high desert. Here, one can explore glaciated valleys replete with majestic bighorn sheep, stands of quaking aspen and alpine meadows where golden eagles soar high above. Steens is an ideal place for quiet backcountry recreation and experiences, and is a jewel in our National Landscape Conservation System.

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