Photo by Dale Nibbe on Unsplash

Recharge Where You Recharge

From the high desert to the mountains to the coast, Oregon is blessed with beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Our state parks are among the places where Oregonians go to get into nature, whether in a kayak, on a bike, or carried by their own two feet. These refuges are where Oregonians go to recharge their spirits. As Rachel Carson said, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.”

For so many of us, our parks are what make our state so special. But right now, they’re being harmed by air pollution and a rapidly changing climate. The rapid increase in temperature harms wildlife and ecosystems. Sea level rise and increased flooding causes extensive damage to our iconic coastline. Extreme wildfire events leave some of our most treasured places unrecognizable. 

To ensure our communities and wild places stay protected, we need cleaner air and a stable climate. That will require us to rethink how we get around, as transportation is the leading source of carbon pollution in Oregon and across the country. 

One of the best ways to curb pollution is to replace gasoline powered vehicles with electric vehicles. The average electric vehicle emits 93% less global warming pollution than the average gasoline powered car. This drastic reduction in emissions underscores the importance of transitioning to all electric vehicles.

Though electric cars are growing in popularity, consumers are still concerned about finding a place to charge. Some of the places where we’re not seeing nearly enough charging stations are our parks and public lands. Since people charge their electric vehicles when they are parked, a lack of infrastructure near hiking trails means many folks suffer from range anxiety — the fear that they’ll run out of juice on the way back from a day on the trail.

Oregonians should not have to choose between having an electric vehicle and visiting the parks they love. We need to have charging infrastructure in the same places we escape to for relief.

Environment Oregon is calling for every state park, wildlife refuge, national monument, and national park to install electric car chargers and make it easy for visitors to recharge their cars while they recharge their souls in nature. We need to make getting to our parks in an EV easier so outdoors-loving Oregonians can confidently make the switch to electric vehicles. 

Right now we are making the case to the Brown administration and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department that installing charging stations at our parks should be a priority in building out our charging network so that Oregonians can recharge where they recharge.

Image credits: Cameron Stewart via Unsplash; NPS

Tell the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department: Install EV chargers in Oregon state parks