Mt. Hood (OR) Wilderness Proposal, Another Step Forward

Posted: 09/06/2006
by Thomas O'Keefe

Today U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith formally introduced their bipartisan proposal to permanently protect more than 125,000 acres of Wilderness on Mount Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge - an increase of almost 70 percent over existing Wilderness protections. It also would grant Wild and Scenic River protections to an additional 79.8 miles of rivers in Oregon and create more than 18,000 acres of Mount Hood National Recreation Areas. The recreation areas would provide access for mountain biking and other diverse recreational opportunities, while allowing forest health projects to be completed where necessary.

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill (H.R. 5025) that would designate approximately 77,000 acres as Wilderness and approximately 25 miles of Wild and Scenic River protections in the Mount Hood National Forest. While keeping the designations included in H.R. 5025 intact, the Senate proposal adds significant protection to many of Mt. Hood's incredible wild rivers and their watersheds. The East Fork Hood and Collawash are now included in this new proposal which the Senators introduced as S. 3854, the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act of 2006.

Wild and Scenic Rivers - The Mount Hood area contains some of the most pristine and beautiful rivers in Oregon. Senators Wyden and Smith propose to grant Wild and Scenic River protection to an additional 79.8 miles of Oregon rivers. Among the rivers proposed for further protection are the picturesque waterfalls and glacial outwash of the East Fork of the Hood River, and ancestral hunting and fishing grounds of Fish Creek. Over 17 miles of superb salmon and steelhead habitat on the Collowosh River have also been proposed for protection. All told, the Senators propose a 47% increase to the Wild and Scenic Rivers network on Mount Hood. The additional miles of rivers to be protected include:

  • East Fork Hood River, 13.5 mi
  • Middle Fork Hood River, 3.7 mi
  • Zig Zag, 4.3 mi
  • Eagle Creek, 8.5 mi
  • Fifteen Mile Creek, 9.7 mi
  • South Fork Roaring River, 4.6 mi
  • South Fork Clackamas, 4.1 mi
  • Collowash, 17.8 mi
  • Fish Creek, 13.6 mi

We will continue working with our local affiliate clubs and American Rivers who have been key to our success in highlighting these great rivers. Moving legislation through Congress this session still depends on the interest of constituents who can communicate their interest in seeing these rivers and their watersheds protected.

Senatior Ron Wyden
230 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3703
web contact form

Senator Gordon Smith
404 Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510
web contact form

Link to more information:

Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012

Associated Rivers

Clackamas, South Fork OR
Collawash OR
1. Big Dog IV-V
Eagle Creek OR
Hood OR
Zigzag OR


Associated Projects

Mt. Hood Wilderness (OR)
In 2009 new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers were established for the forests of Mt. Hood.