I am writing in support of the Cathedral Rock Wilderness along the John Day River. First, as a hunter, I am in favor because it will improve hunting access. Your article in the April 5 edition of the Bulletin missed some important facts about the road access proposal recently put forward by area landowners. The current proposal will allow road access along Muddy Creek Road during all of hunting season. Second, the consolidation of parcels in this area into one large chunk of public land will allow better hunting in Cathedral Rock. Hunters will no longer run the risk of inadvertently trespassing on private lands as they work to have a legal and successful hunt.

Allowing safe access along the Muddy Creek Road and preventing road damage by managing use during the wet season is a reasonable approach, and the parties involved should be applauded for working out a compromise solution. I appreciate the efforts of Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to move this forward and eagerly await improved hunting opportunities and access in the Cathedral Rock area.

The improved road access is in addition to access provided by the John Day River itself. I have hunted in the proposed wilderness by accessing from the river. Not everyone can or will do this, but it is a special way to hunt for those who choose to.

Please add your support to designation of this wilderness. It’s a benefit to hunters and it will harm nobody. It’s a clear winner.

Kelly Smith