The Devil's Staircase, a series of cataracts on Wassen Creek in southwest Oregon.

The Devil’s Staircase, a series of cataracts on Wassen Creek in southwest Oregon.

Chandra LeGue/Oregon Wild

Democratic senator Ron Wyden thought he had a deal to establish new wilderness areas to Oregon and help protect an unincorporated area of 5,000 residents in Central Oregon from wildfire.

Problem is, Republican representative Greg Walden wants the wildfire protection but not the wilderness.   

Now two of Oregon’s most powerful politicians are locked in a dispute that threatens both pieces of legislation as time ticks down on the lame-duck congressional session.

The dispute concerns Wyden’s Oregon Wildlands Act, a bill that would create 200,000 acres of new wilderness and recreation areas, and Walden’s Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act, which would adjust part of a Wilderness Study Area in the name of wildfire protection.

Read the full story at the Statesman Journal.