Help Protect Waldo Lake!

Waldo Lake

Early morning on Waldo Lake in central Oregon.

In 2010, the Oregon State Marine Board prohibited the use of internal combustion motors on Waldo Lake in response to a broad public call to preserve the unique character of one of the clearest and most pure lakes in the world.

But today, the Board is considering reversing that decision due to pressure from a small group of motorboat users and seaplane owners.

Waldo Lake is bordered by Wilderness and old growth forest. It is one of the few large lakes that offers a quiet, semi-primitive nature experience to hikers and campers. As one of the purest lakes in the world with visibility that exceeds Crater Lake, this lake is a world treasure worth protecting. Gas motors create an unacceptable risk of pollution from usage and fuel spills, especially when there are numerous options for motorized recreation on nearby lakes.

The Marine Board is now accepting public input on the motor ban and has established a comment period from March 1 to April 10.  A public hearing will also be held on April 10, 6 p.m. at the Willamalane Center, 250 S. 32nd St., in Springfield. Click here to learn more.

 Click here to send an e-mail to the Marine Board
and ask them to protect Waldo Lake!

If you have more time, please consider sending personalized letters or submitting a letter to the editor to the newspapers listed below.  These actions take a bit more time, but can be more effective in making your voice heard than just clicking on the e-mail link above.

Write or call:

  • The Marine Board
    • Submit written comments between March 1 and April 10 via e-mail to
    • USPS: Oregon State Marine Board, PO Box 14145, Salem, OR 97309-5065
    • Phone: 503-378-8587 (Hours: 8am – 5pm), Fax: 503-378-4597
  • Governor Kitzhaber
    • Email contact form:
    • USPS: Governor Kitzhaber, 160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street, Salem, OR 97301-4047
    • Governor’s Citizens’ Representative, Message Line: 503-378-4582, Fax: 503-378-6827
  • Bend Bulletin
    • “My Nickel’s Worth”: limit 250 words, include address and day phone for verification.
    • Email:
    • Fax: 541 385-5804
  • The Source Weekly
  • The Oregonian
    • Letters to Editor: limit 150 words, include address and day phone for verification.
    • Email:
    • Fax: 503 294-4193

Talking Points

Here are some recommended talking points for your letter, email, or phone call (open these bullets in a pdf file for printing here – Motor Ban Talking Points):

  • Waldo is one of the purest lakes in the world with visibility that exceeds Crater Lake. This makes it a stunning world treasure. The presence of gas motors creates real risk of pollution from usage and fuel spills that are likely inevitable. This risk is unacceptable.
  • Waldo is bordered on three sides by designated wilderness and the other side is old growth forest managed by the Forest Service as primitive area with no motorized access. The character of current Waldo Lake experiences would be irreparably altered by the presence of motorized craft.
  • Over 10 years of work went into the creation of the motor ban on Waldo with all the major stakeholders participating, and the public supports the ban by a wide margin.
  • Waldo is the only large body of water in the state with a motor ban that allows a quiet experience uninterrupted by the noise from gas motors. This is a unique and valued experience that is highly prized by the public.
  • Visitors have many options for motorized recreation in the central Cascades including Odell Lake, Crescent Lake, Davis Lake, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Wickiup Reservoir, Cultus Lake, and several others. With such diverse access to motorized recreation already available, adding Waldo Lake would have little positive economic impact on local businesses.
  • The idea that Waldo is needed for float plane operations is nonsensical considering all the available nearby landing options listed in the previous point. Float planes landing and taking off from Waldo would completely destroy the quiet experience currently available there.
  • Waldo has been managed as a semi-primitive camping area from the outset, and is widely used by sailors, kayakers, hikers, mountain bikers, and campers who cherish the opportunity to have an area that is free of noise from gas motors.

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