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Chetco State Scenic Waterway Public Meeting and Comment Opportunity (OR)

Posted: 07/09/2015
by Thomas O'Keefe

Last fall the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (ORPD) solicited input on the designation of a segment of the Chetco River that includes the Chetco Gorge as a State Scenic Waterway. American Whitewater is actively supporting this designation.

Based on the feedback received, ORPD has developed a draft management plan and they are soliciting public feedback through an upcoming meeting and opportunity to provide comment. We encourage whitewater paddlers to weigh in highlighting the recreation value of the river along with a note of support for the designation.
Meeting Information
You are invited to attend an open house public meeting about the potential designation of a portion of the Chetco River as a State Scenic Waterway. The proposed section is from the Steel Bridge to Alfred A. Loeb State Park. The intent of the meeting is to learn about scenic waterways and review the nonbinding draft management plan, which is intended to serve as a first step towards understanding what designation of the Chetco as a State Scenic Waterway might mean.
Documents for Review:
Comments will be accepted at the meeting, as well as via email and mail starting July 14 through Aug. 13. Scenic waterways staff will incorporate public comments into a report for Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commissioners to review in November. The Governor will make the final decision on designation in December. If the river is designated, OPRD hold additional meetings for public comment before finalizing a management plan and initiating rule-making.
Open House Public Meeting: July 14th, 6-7:30 PM 
Harbor Water District PUD, 98069 W. Benham Lane, Harbor, OR 97415
Comments due by: August 13, 2015
Submit comments to: or
OPRD Scenic Waterways Program
725 Summer St. Ste C, Salem, OR 97301
The people of Oregon voted to establish the State Scenic Waterway program in 1970 in order to balance the impacts of dams. The program proclaims that the highest and best uses of the waters within State Scenic Waterways are recreation, fish and wildlife uses, and a designation protects the outstanding scenic, fish, wildlife, geological, botanical, historic, archaeologic, and outdoor recreation values of a river for current and future generations. Similar to federal Wild and Scenic protection, a State Scenic Waterway designation keeps a river freely-flowing by prohibiting dam construction. Those seeking to engage in certain activities, such as mining or logging, within a State Scenic Waterway corridor need to receive permission from the agency.
Additional information about Oregon’s State Scenic Waterway Program is available online at 


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

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