Ground Truth: Sound Off

DeFazio Introduces Bill to Protect Devil’s Staircase

A big thumbs up to Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, who yesterday introduced legislation that would protect one of the most remote slices of the state’s coastal mountains from logging, mining and other development.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., in the heart of the proposed Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Area.

DeFazio’s bill would designate more than 30,000 acres of pristine forests and streams as the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Area. The area is so rugged that it has never been logged.

“Devil’s Staircase is one of the last truly wild places in the United States,” DeFazio said. “I’ve hiked thousands of miles in my lifetime, and the trek to the spectacular Devil’s Staircase waterfall was one of most challenging and rewarding I have ever undertaken.”

In addition to the wilderness designation, DeFazio’s legislation would designate more than 14 miles of Wasson and Franklin creeks, which run through the area and support native salmon and trout, as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Devil’s Staircase gets its name from a storied waterfall on Wasson Creek that sluices over a series of “steps” formed by sedimentary rocks, flanked by dense old-growth forest.

“This magnificent area is pristine wilderness without any developed trails, and encompasses some of the last remaining old-growth forest in Oregon’s Coastal Range,” DeFazio said. “My legislation will help to protect this unique area and preserve its beauty and tranquility for generations to come.”