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New Public Lands!!

28 Aug 2009

Thank YOU Senator Bingaman (D! From NM!) for U.S. Law 111-11, The Public Lands Omnibus of 2009. And thank you, friendly guy in Bingaman's DC office (Jorge Silva Bunuelos) for sending me all those lovely maps. There's lots of other stuff in the bill too! Great fun for everyone!

This is going to be a heckuva long post, cause it's a heckuva big bill. Links of course go to the Public Lands Information Center.


As summer warms the lush mountains and high deserts of Oregon, hikers will be enjoying a number of new wilderness areas, anglers and rafters can rest easy that many favorite rivers are newly protected, and rock lovers will have fun touring the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, or else escaping into the Oregon Badlands.

Oregon sites include:


Badger Creek Wilderness

Bull of the Woods Wilderness

Mount Hood Wilderness

Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness

Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

Clackamas Wilderness

Roaring River Wilderness

Lower White River Wilderness

Copper Salmon Wilderness

Oregon Badlands Wilderness

Soda Mountain Wilderness


South Fork Clackamas River

South Fork Roaring River

Elk River

Eagle Creek

Upper Zig Zag River

Middle Fork Hood River

East Fork Hood River

Fifteenmile Creek

Collawash River

Fish Creek


Mount Hood National Recreation Area

Eagle Creek- Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Sheep Creek Wild and Scenic River

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail


Large sections of the Owyhee uplands in southwestern Idaho have recently been protected under the Public Lands Omnibus of 2009. The Owyhee features sage-covered rolling mesas cut deeply by the Bruneau, Jarbidge, and Owyhee Rivers, and their many tributaries. The diverse terrain supports many forms of wildlife, notably a large raptor population. Wilderness areas have been designated around the rivers, and the watersheds have also been protected for their wild and recreational value.

Two National Trails have been designated in Idaho. The Pacific Northwest Trail is a recreational route that continues through Montana and Washington. The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail is more of a driving tour, passing through the landscape carved when an ice dam broke, causing catastrophic flooding from Missoula, Montana, through to the Pacific.


Little Jacks Creek Wilderness

Big Jacks Creek Wilderness

Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness

North Fork Owyhee River Wilderness

Pole Creek Wilderness

Owyhee River Wilderness


Battle Creek

Big Jacks Creek + Wickahoney Creek + Cottonwood Creek + Duncan Creek

Bruneau River

Jarbidge River

Deep Creek, including Dickshooter Creek

Little Jacks Creek

North Fork of the Owyhee River

Owyhee River

Red Canyon

Sheep Creek

South Fork of the Owyhee River


Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail


New Mexico has three newly-protected areas on BLM lands around the state.

The Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in the Robledo Mountains near Do?a Ana, is one of the finest Paleozoic paleontological sites in the country. Most of the specimens have been removed to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque, but the mountains are a challenging and fascinating place to explore.

Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area above ground, is a historic fort, dating from the late 19th century, nestled in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains. Underground is a wonderland formed over eons. Permit required for caving.

Sabinoso Wilderness The Sabinoso wilderness does not currently have public access, but protects over 16,000 acres of mesas and canyons.


180,000 acres of the Zion-Mojave region's unique landscape-- including Canaan Mountain, Black Ridge, Beaver Dam Wash, and Doc's Pass-- were protected, including Utah's first wild river, the system of tributaries to the Virgin River, flowing through Zion National Park. Utah sites include:


Beartrap Canyon Wilderness

Blackridge Wilderness

Canaan Mountain Wilderness

Cottonwood Forest Wilderness

Cougar Canyon Wilderness

Deep Creek Wilderness

Doc's Pass Wilderness

Goose Creek Wilderness

LaVerkin Creek Wilderness

Red Butte Wilderness

Red Mountain Wilderness

Slaughter Creek Wilderness

Taylor Creek Wilderness

Zion Wilderness


Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, including Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness

Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area

Virgin Wild and Scenic River


Two regional trails have received National designations in the recent Public Lands Omnibus Act of 2009. The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail has long been a favorite destination for backpackers from the Northern Rockies to the Coastal ranges, passing through Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

The Ice Age Floods National Geographic Trail, a driving route, tours the epochal floods of prehistoric times that carved the landscape in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.


When the Public Lands Omnibus of 2009 was signed into law, some favorite places in Arizona got new protections. Fossil Creek was designated a Wild and Scenic River-- Arizona's second.

The Mazatzal Wilderness got some additional land.

The Arizona National Scenic Trail, long a dream of dedicated volunteers, has received national status. This trail passes through some of the wildest and most beautiful public lands of the state, from the Grand Canyon to the saguaro forests.


The Public Lands Omnibus of 2009 recently designated a wild river system in northwestern Wyoming. The Headwaters of the Snake River have their origin in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the Teton Wilderness, the Gros Ventre Wilderness, and the Bridger Teton National Forest.


In Colorado, the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park has been designated a wilderness.

The Public Lands Omnibus also designated the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, including Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area, just south of Grand Junction.


The Public Lands Omnibus of 2009 designated numerous wilderness areas, made existing wilderness areas larger, established special recreation areas, and protected several wild rivers in the state of California. Many of these areas are in the Sierras, around Kings Canyon and Sequoia national park.


Hoover Wilderness addition

John Muir Wilderness addition

Ansel Adams wilderness addition

Agua Tibia Wilderness addition

Santa Rosa Wilderness addition

Joshua Tree Wilderness addition

Orocopia Mountains Wilderness addition

Palen/McCoy Wilderness addition

Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness addition

Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness

Owens River Headwaters Wilderness

White Mountains Wilderness

Granite Mountain Wilderness

Magic Mountain Wilderness

Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness

Cahuilla Mountain Wilderness

South Fork San Jacinto Wilderness

Beauty Mountain Wilderness

Pinto Mountains Wilderness

John Krebs Wilderness


Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area

Pickel Hill Management Area

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest


Amargosa River

Owens River Headwaters

Cottonwood Creek

North Fork San Jacinto River & Fuller Mill Creek

Palm Canyon Creek

Bautista Creek

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