Agency proposes plan for new Ore. wilderness

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MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is releasing a proposed management plan for the new Soda Mountain Wilderness area in Southern Oregon.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/qQc5kN ) it calls for removing some roads, converting others to trails, removing some structures and preserving historic ranch features.

Two inholders would be allowed to continue driving a short distance to get to their private property.

The area remains open to recreation such as backpacking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and camping. Cattle grazing is not permitted.

The area is about 24,000 acres amid the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Congress designated it as wilderness in 2009. The monument was established in 2000 to protect what scientists describe as unusually rich biological diversity.

A final plan is expected to be adopted next year.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/