How will the park affect local emergency services?
We’ve heard very clearly that emergency services–mainly fire and medical response–are significant concerns. We’re working with emergency service providers in both Sherman and Gilliam counties to address communications. Our goal is to provide several layers of response to reduce the burden on local responders, and we are also looking at ways to use agreements we have with other state agencies (like Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Forestry).
Finally, and maybe most importantly, we will help visitors understand the risks and responsibilities of using a rugged, remote park like this. We know Cottonwood Canyon will be a different experience than almost any other in the state, and preparing visitors to enjoy the park responsibly–understanding the consequences to their own safety and that of our neighbors–is vitally important.