Monday, November 28, 2022

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Public Lands Day Celebrates 'Spectacular' Landmarks in OR, U.S.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022   

Saturday is National Public Lands Day, a celebration of national parks in the United States.

People will be able to access national park lands for free in celebration of the day. Events such as cleanups and habitat improvement are also planned.

Seth Miller, executive director of Oregon Parks Forever, a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing and preserving public lands in the state, explained the importance of the parks.

"The National Park Service properties preserve some of the most spectacular lands across the country," Miller pointed out. "In Oregon, Crater Lake stands out as one of the most incredible properties, and in fact the acreage of that park exceeds the sum of the acreage of all our state parks."

While Crater Lake is Oregon's only national park, Miller explained the National Park Service oversees four other locations in the state: The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon Caves National Monument and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

Miller added warming temperatures are a concern for national parks.

"All public lands across the United States are dealing with the effects of climate change," Miller emphasized. "Particularly in the western states, we're facing a number of years of drought and increasing wildfires."

To help mitigate the wildfire risk, Miller noted Oregon Parks Forever plans to plant a million trees. It planted more than 500,000 last year. Miller also noted parks are dealing with large backlogs in deferred maintenance, although the Great American Outdoors Act passed by Congress in 2020 is helping to address the issue.


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