Columbia River Gorge (OR & WA)

While the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act provides the strongest protection for conservation of rivers, other legislation has provided protection of rivers from hydropower development. Section 13 of the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area Act includes important river protection measures. The Wind, Hood, and Little White Salmon were protected from water development projects (i.e. new dams) under Section 7 of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Lower Klickitat and BZ Section of the White Salmon were designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Additional segments of the Klickitat and White Salmon were proposed for study but have not been designated.

These Columbia Gorge is well known for its outstanding whitewater resources that attract paddlers from around the world. We work to defend these protection measures that ensure that these spectacular rivers remain free-flowing.

The text of Section 13 follows:

SEC.13. TRIBUTARY RIVERS AND STREAMS. [16 U.S.C. § 544k]

(a) WATER RESOURCE PROJECTS.—The following rivers and streams shall be subject to the same restrictions on the licensing, permitting, and exempting from licensing and the construction of water resource projects as provided for components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System pursuant to section 7(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1278(a)):

(1) any tributary river or stream to the Columbia River not designated in subsections (c ) or (d) of this section or otherwise specified in this subsection which flows in whole or in part through a special management area, unless the construction of a water resources project would not have a direct and adverse effect on the scenic, cultural, recreation, and natural resources of the scenic area;

(2) any river or river segment which flows in whole or in part through the scenic area and which is established pursuant to State law as a wild, scenic, or recreation river or which is under study pursuant to State law for the potential inclusion in any such State protected river system, unless such project or projects meet terms and conditions set by State agencies exercising administration over such river or river segment;

(3) the Wind River, Washington, for a period not less than three years following the later of—

(A) final approval of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Plan, adopted pursuant to the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (Act of October 22, 1976, Public Law 94-588, as amended) (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.); or

(B) submittal by the Secretary of a report to the President on the suitability or nonsuitability for addition to the national wild and scenic rivers system and a report by the President to the Congress of recommendations and proposals with respect to the designation of such river under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act;

(4) the Hood River, Oregon, if such facility impounds or diverts water other than by means of a dam or diversion existing as of November 17, 1986; and

(5) the segment of the Little White Salmon, Washington, from the Willard National Fish Hatchery to its confluence with the Columbia River if such facility impounds or diverts water other than by means of a dam or diversion existing as of November 17, 1986.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to those portions of tributary rivers or streams to the Columbia River which flow through or border on Indian reservations. Nothing in this section shall apply to or affect any segment of any river designated as a wild and scenic river under section 3 of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274) or any river designated for study under section 5 of such Act (16 U.S.C. 1276).

(c ) WILD AND SCENIC RIVER DESIGNATIONS.—Section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Public Law 90-542, Act of October 2, 1968, 82 Stat. 910, as amended) is further amended by adding the following new subsections:

“( ) Klickitat, Washington: The segment from its confluence with Wheeler Creek, Washington, near the town of Pitt, Washington, to its confluence with the Columbia River; to be classified as a recreation river and to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture.

“( ) White Salmon, Washington: The segment from its confluence with Gilmer Creek, Washington, near the town of B Z Corner, Washington, to its confluence with Buck Creek, Washington; to be classified as a scenic river and to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture.”.

(d) WILD AND SCENIC RIVER STUDIES.—Section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Public Law 90-542, Act of October 2, 1968, 82 Stat. 910, as amended) is further amended by adding the following new subsections:

“( ) Klickitat, Washington: The segment from the southern boundary of the Yakima Indian Reservation, Washington, as described in the Treaty with the Yakimas of 1855 (12 Stat. 951), and as acknowledged by the Indian Claims Commission in Yakima Tribe of Indians v. U.S., 16 Ind. Cl. Comm. 536 (1966), to its confluence with the Little Klickitat River, Washington: Provided, That said study shall be carried on in consultation with the Yakima Indian Nation and shall include a determination of the degree to which the Yakima Indian Nation should participate in the preservation and administration of the river segment should it be proposed for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers system.

“( ) White Salmon, Washington: The segment from its confluence with Trout Lake Creek, Washington, to its confluence with Gilmer Creek, Washington, near the town of B Z Corner, Washington.”.


The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.

projects - Columbia River Gorge (OR & WA)

Title Name City


Associated Rivers

low
00h52m
low
00h22m
low
00h22m
low
00h22m
Little White Salmon [WA]
White Salmon [WA]
med
01h22m
Wind [WA]
low
00h22m

Associated Projects