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Oregon Wilderness and Wild Scenic Bills Re-Introduced

Posted: 02/14/2013
by Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier today, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) re-introduced a set of wilderness bills including the Oregon Treasures Act. This legislation will provide protections for five environmentally significant areas in Oregon with importance to the whitewater boating community.

On the Chetco River, the Oregon Treasures Act will enhance Wild and Scenic protections along 3 miles of the river, and place a permanent mineral withdrawal along additional sections designated as Wild and Scenic. The withdrawal will protect the crystal clear waters of the Chetco from new mining claims and the bill will require current claimants to show that their claims are valid. On the Molalla River, 21.3 miles will be designated as "recreational" under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. In addition to being a valued whitewater run close to Portland, the river supplies drinking water for local communities, and the area offers hiking, mountain biking, camping, hunting and fishing opportunities. In Southern Oregon's Rogue River watershed, 60,000 acres of wilderness will be added to the Wild Rogue Wilderness, protecting 143 miles of tributaries that feed into the Rogue River. And finally, on the John Day, over 17,000 acres will be protected at the Horse Heaven and Cathedral Rock Wilderness areas, doubling the amount of public land that is accessible and enhancing the experience on the river. 

All of these bills were previously introduced and have a broad range of support. American Whitewater has joined with conservation organizations, local business owners and community members to support these bills. Please take a moment to join us in thanking Senators Wyden and Merkley their strong commitment to river conservation and for re-introducing these bills.

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


Associated Rivers

Associated Projects

Restoring the Rogue (OR)
One of the great Rivers of the West, preserving the the Wild Rogue and restoring upstream reaches impacted by dams are priorities for American Whitewater.