Thursday, April 28, 2011

Abert Rim

Abert Rim

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A couple of old photos of Abert Rim in SE Oregon, a bit north of Lakeview. These are old mini-roadtrip photos from 2007, and I didn't post them at the time because they're really not that great, and I only have two photos total, taken from a moving vehicle since I was on my way to Fort Rock that day and didn't have time to stop.

It doesn't appear there's really much more you can do here without a serious 4wd vehicle and then some serious backpacking gear (neither of which I happen to own), as Abert Rim is a BLM Wilderness Study Area.

For those unfamiliar with the term, "study" in this context means an administrative (rather than legislative) moratorium on development. It basically means the place is being held in reserve in case Congress ever decides to designate it as a full-blown wilderness area someday. So it's been awaiting a favorable political climate since July 1992, in fact, and it's pretty much a given the current chock-full-o-wingnuts Congress isn't going to take up the cause. The possibility of development here isn't an idle notion, either; there have been several proposals to build some sort of "pumped storage" hydroelectric project at adjacent Abert Lake, and the most recent proposal was only abandoned in 2009.

I'm not an anti-development zealot or anything, but it's easy to imagine how things could go very wrong here. It's easy to imagine rows of ugly million-dollar McMansions with million-dollar views lining the top of Abert Rim, the requisite golf course next to the lake, the whole thing fenced off and guarded by Taser-happy security guards to keep the locals and other riffraff out. And, naturally, a backroom deal so that residents don't pay property taxes or otherwise contribute to the local economy in any way. It's not hard to imagine; look what happened to Bend, after all.

Abert Rim

In any case, the main reason I'm posting these photos now is because it's late April in Portland, and this endless, grey, chilly spring is dragging on and on, and I'd really rather post something with a bit of blue sky in it. I distinctly recall that it was a warm day when I took these photos. In fact the car windows were up because the AC was on. I vaguely recall what that was like...

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