S. 354/Ron Wyden &
H.R. 2489/Peter DeFazio
An adventure in geology awaits visitors to the Siskiyou Mountains, where Oregon Caves National Monument holds the designation as the West’s longest marble cave open to the public. The streams that created and continue to sculpt the Oregon Caves descend through the caves before joining the River Styx in underground grottos; continuing its journey as Cave Creek, the water then travels through the “dining room” of the historic Oregon Caves Chateau, and remarkably, forms the only stream in the National Park System that flows unobstructed to the ocean.
More than 100 years ago, the Interior Department deemed 2,500 acres of the site worthy of protection, but when President William Howard Taft used the Antiquities Act to preserve the land in 1909, only 480 acres were set aside. Adding the remaining federal land to the monument would fulfill the original intent to protect the larger watershed and better protect the caves, while providing visitors with an even more amazing experience.
Update: Passed in the Senate. Reported out of House Committee.