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White Salmon Designated Wild and Scenic

Posted: 08/03/2005
by Thomas O'Keefe

Over the past several months Representative Brian Baird and Senator Maria Cantwell worked hard to successfully move the Upper White Salmon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act through Congress. Their legislation, which adds 20 miles of river to the Wild and Scenic River system within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, was signed into law yesterday by the President.

In 1997 the Forest Service released the "Upper White Salmon River Wild and Scenic River Study Report and Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement". This report recommended designating the entire 38.4 miles of the Upper White Salmon (including Cascade Creek) as Wild and Scenic. AW has worked with a coalition of groups to raise awareness of this issue and identify the importance of the river for recreation (see previous article). Many paddlers know this run, profiled in this month's AW journal, as a classic summer run.

Given private property concerns along the middle reaches of the river only the upper section within the National Forest was included in this legislation. Now both the lower section (BZ run), previously protected as Wild and Scenic in 1986, and upper sections (Mt. Adams section) are protected with a gap in the middle along the Farmlands and Green Truss runs. AW will continue working with the rest of our partners to realize a long-term vision that includes protection and restoration of this entire river system.

Associated Projects

White Salmon Restoration (WA)
American Whitewater has been engaged in a long-term effort to protect and restore one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular year-around whitewater rivers.