PORTLAND, OR – Today, on National Trails Day, Environment Oregon called on Oregon leaders to keep beloved parks, like Crater Lake, open and protected from development and pollution. This call comes on the heels of major cuts to our national parks over the past few years and as Congress considers slashing park budgets even deeper this summer.
National Trails Day is celebrated by thousands of nature-lovers nationwide, who spend the first Saturday in June hiking their favorite trails and enjoying our local and national parks.
“Crater Lake represents the very best of Oregon’s natural legacy. On National Trails Day, Oregonians are among the many across the country who will hike, bike, fish, boat, camp, etc in their favorite places – and see firsthand why we’ve committed to protect them for future generations,” said Sarah Higginbotham, Environment Oregon State Director.
“That’s why it’s so important that Oregon’s leaders in Congress support Crater Lake, giving it the resources it needs to stay open and protected from development and pollution.”
Crater Lake, Oregon’s only National Park, is the crown jewel of Oregon. With its sapphire blue waters and 2,000 foot rim walls attract nearly half-a-million visitors a year. The surrounding mountains and forests are home to Roosevelt elk, black bears and bald eagles. Every summer, when Rim Drive opens up, visitors bike the route to enjoy the scenic landscape. Campers and hikers hit the trails and climb mountains amidst old growth and wildflowers, or venture down to the shore for a swim. Winter enthusiasts explore snowshoe and cross country trails the rest of the year. No matter the month, everyone marvels at the views of Crater Lake itself, one of the country’s most spectacular sights.
Yet, in recent years Congress has slashed funding by more than 10 percent for our National Park System, and now House leaders want to cut even more. Unless we stop these cuts, we’ll have less access to trails, fewer rangers to guide and help visitors, and less protection from pollution and other threats to wildlife and water quality.
“Today, on National Trails Day, it’s easy to see that Oregonians care deeply about access to beautiful places—whether it’s their local parks or our only National Park, Crater Lake,” continued Higginbotham. “I hope that Oregon’s leaders get the message—everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy Crater Lake National Park.”