Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The legacy of Tom McCall

The Oregon Administrative Rule that's put a hold on mining in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness was established under Governor Tom McCall. It was a time of bold environmental leadership and working across the isle that saw the public's access to Oregon's beaches preserved and the nation's first bottle recycling bill.

A priceless natural heritage—public beach along Southwest
Oregon's Wild Rivers Coast (Photograph - Barbara Ullian)

While we take these privileges for granted,  all Oregonians now benefit from the foresight of the Governor and the many citizens of Oregon who worked tirelessly on these issues. Public access to Oregon's spectacular coast and its State Parks are a priceless heritage that contributes to the health and well being of its citizens and draws visitors from across the nation.

Almost a half century later it will be up to the administration of Governor John Kitzhaber to see that the McCall era Wilderness rule and the Clean Water Act are implemented and the legacy continued. Support and impetus will be up to the citizens of the State. Governor Ted Kulongoski's administration provided a strong foundation.

Excerpt from Oregon's Statement of Policy for Wilderness Areas, established before 1972:
"... Therefore, it is declared to be the policy and purpose of the Department of Environmental Quality to maintain the environment of wilderness areas essentially in a pristine state and as free from air, water, and noise pollution as is practically possible and to permit its alternation only in a manner compatible with recreational use and the enjoyment of scenic beauty and splendor of these lands by the citizens of Oregon and of the United States."  Oregon Administrative Rule 340-013-0005. 
 The Chetco River in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
 (Photograph - Barbara Ullian)