Legislated land exchange preserves wilderness for recreation, conservation

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - CONTRIBUTED PHOTO This view of a trail through the wilderness on Hunchback Mountain south of the Zigzag Ranger Station shows the pristine nature of the environment.The recently completed Hunchback Mountain Land Exchange added more than 170 acres to the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness Area, just south of the Zigzag Ranger Station.

The exchange also added more than 275 acres of estuary to the Siuslaw National Forest at Lower Drift Creek.

This land exchange was part of the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which included three land exchanges for the Mt. Hood National Forest. These properties are near Cooper Spur/Government Camp, the Port of Cascade Locks, and the recent exchange in the Hunchback Mountain area near Zigzag and Welches.

Hunchback Mountain is now protected as a wilderness, and it will provide accessible routes to the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness from Zigzag and Welches.

Oregonians of many generations in the future will benefit from the additional recreational access to the wilderness as well as conservation of lands with wilderness qualities, and from the protection of fish and estuary habitat on the Siuslaw River, near Florence.

Assisting in this exchange were Clackamas County, the Western Rivers Conservancy and the Oregon Congressional Delegation.

For more information, call Laura Pramuk at 503-668-1791.

— Jim Hart

Contract Publishing

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