Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, Siuslaw National Forest
Oregon’s Newest Wilderness Area, Oregon Coast Range
I was first tipped off about the Devil’s Staircase by a backcountry friend who has recently seen an OPB piece about this beautiful yet remarkably remote area of Oregon, located in the Siuslaw National Forest. Upon further research, I learned that this Old Growth Forest with its namesake waterfall was up for consideration to be Oregon’s newest Wilderness Area.
For those of you who are not familiar with requirements for Wilderness Area Designation,Here are a few:
- Area of at least 5,000 acres in size that is largely roadless
- The area needs to be largely unblemished by the hand of man
- The area needs to offer opportunities for primitive recreation, such as camping, hiking and skiing
- The area needs to provide opportunity for solitude
- The area should be significant because of scenery, geology, science, or history.
To say the least, these requirement are stringent. For a plethora of information about the establishment, management, regulations and definitions of Wilderness, please visit, the Wilderness Act of 1964.
A couple of my favorite passages from the Wilderness Act:
- Wilderness Areas are, “…Lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition…”
- Wilderness Areas are,”an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man…”
In general, I think of Wilderness Areas as being a natural sanctuary where man can observe and delicately interact with largely undisturbed ecosystems. These areas are not meant to be dominated by man, instead, they are areas where man can respectfully submerge himself( or herself) in a healthy and holistic natural world.
The Devil’s Staircase area, was proposed for protection as part of the Oregon Wildlands Act. This act was championed by the honorable efforts of Rep. Peter Defazio, as well as Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley. We should all extend a heartfelt thank you to those public servants as well as the wonderful folks at Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild. Without great effort by these fine people, the Devils Staircase Wilderness would not exist today!
When I learned about the potential future wilderness status of Devil’s Staircase, I wanted to get involved however I could. With adventure and suffering, I was fortunate enough to capture the beautiful images you see here and I immediately offered to share them with Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild, who were both working diligently to help establish the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness. They quickly took me up on my offer of image sharing and I’m proud to say that my images were heavily used in the now successful campaign to attain Wilderness Status!
To learn more about my multiple efforts to reach and photograph the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, please visit my previous blog post about the Devil’s Staircase Hike. The purchasing options on this page apply only to the image at the top of this page. If you have an interest in purchasing fine art prints of any of the other images on this page, please contact me directly by using the contact tab on the right side of the menu bar at the top of this page.
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