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Protecting The Owyhee Canyonlands


The Chalk Basin in the Owyhee Canyonlands.

The Chalk Basin in the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Greg Burke

The Owyhee Canyonlands are made up of more than 2.1 million acres of deserts, canyons, and rivers in far eastern Oregon. Currently labeled a wilderness study area, it is open to rafting and hiking, as well as grazing by herds of cattle.

The petitioners from wildowyhee.org are hoping to get the canyonlands protected by the Wilderness Act, which was signed in 1964 by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. Unlike a National or State Park, wilderness areas are run by the National Wilderness Prevention System, which means that aside from a few trails and dirt roads, the land would be preserved in its natural condition.

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