Don't miss these news headlines and stories from the outdoors.
On Navajo land occupying the east rim of the Grand Canyon, a developer is seeking to build the Grand Canyon Escalade, replete with shops, restaurants and boutique hotels. The plan, still seeking approval, is pitting environmentalists against developers, and tribe members aligned with each group against one another. In an area where some development has been approved on adjacent lands, other groups with lands on the Grand Canyon want to share in the revenues generated from the steady flow of tourists to the park, while other stakeholders are concerned any more development will lead to irreparable harm to the lands and the already imperiled Colorado River.
When a few members of the Siskiyou Mountain Club came upon an abandoned illegal mining operation in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, they cleaned it up and reported it to the U.S. Forest Service. The group found 85 pounds of trash and carried it 13 miles out of the wilderness. The U.S. Forest Service, in response to their efforts, asks that any other parties that encounter abandoned mines leave the contents and report the location so they can investigate it further.
Last week The House passed a number of bipartisan bills that would protect irreplaceable wilderness and public land in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Washington. These bills were added as part of the National Defense Authorization Act and if they become law, over 1 million acres will be preserved for future generations. The bills will be headed to the Senate in the coming days, and supporters are hopeful the 113th Congress will pass them into law.
Following on the recent report that an Idaho wolf hunting derby, permitted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), was being challenged by environmental groups, the BLM has rescinded the permit. The event may not be held on public lands in Idaho. During a 15-day comment period, the BLM received over 56,000 comments on the derby, of which only 10 were in favor of it.
For the first time in over 40 years, coho salmon have returned to spawn in Southeast Portland's Crystal Springs Creek. A habitat restoration project recently removed seven culverts on the creek. Crystal Springs Creek is a tributary of Johnson Creek, which flows into the Willamette River. See below for a video of the spawning pair, from Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services.
A coalition of environmental groups led by Earthjustice, along with the Nez Perce Tribe, have filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers to block dredging on the lower Snake River. The dredging project, scheduled to begin in December, is needed to maintain the barging corridor between Pasco, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho, keeping Lewiston as the most inland seaport on the West Coast. The lawsuit was filed to protect salmon and other fish species that would be impacted by the dredging.
Oregon State Parks is offering a holiday discount on annual day-use parking passes. From now until Dec. 31 you can get a pass for $25, a $5 discount from the regular price. An Oregon Coast Passport is also $5 off if purchased before the end of the year.
As the lame-duck Congress acts to pass legislation before year end, one Oregon landmark is slated to get a big boost in acreage. The Oregon Caves National Monument in Southern Oregon will get an addition 4,070 acres, well over the roughly 400 acres it current occupies. It will also make the River Styx, which runs through the cave network, the first subterranean stream to be protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.