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New Permit System for John Day now online (OR)

Posted: 03/01/2011
By: Thomas O'Keefe

The Prineville Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has responsibility for managing the 147-mile John Day Wild and Scenic River from Service Creek to Tumwater Falls in north-central Oregon. The river was designated in 1988, under the Omnibus Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The BLM manages the river in partnership with the John Day Interagency Planning Team comprised of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, local counties, and the State of Oregon.

In 2001 the BLM completed the John Day River Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (the River Plan). The River Plan directed the BLM to use a Limits of Acceptable Change analysis to determine appropriate boating use levels for Segments 2 and 3 of the John Day River, from Service Creek to Cottonwood Bridge.

In 2010, the BLM prepared and circulated the John Day River Study Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze a range of alternatives to set a capacity for boating use on Segment 2 (Clarno to Cottonwood) and Segment 3 (Service Creek to Clarno) of the John Day Wild & Scenic River.

Available Launches Per Day during the primary boating season of May 20–July 10

Segment 2 - Clarno to Cottonwood
All trips launching from Clarno or Thirtymile: 9 Launches

Segment 3 - Service Creek to Clarno
Segment 3A - Overnight trips launching from Muleshoe or Service Creek: 9 Launches
Segment 3B - Overnight trips launching from Twickenham, Priest Hole or Lower Burnt Ranch: 10 Launches
Segment 3 - Day-Use trips launching between Muleshoe and Clarno: 24 Launches

All users will have equal access to available permits through the on-line system, on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits will be released in two batches, on March 1 and May 1 at 7am Pacific Time, to accommodate both long-range and short-range planners. There is no lottery. The permits are available through an online system The website includes a calendar that shows the number of launch permits that have been released for each date, the number already reserved, and the number still available for reservation.

If you have a question about the river or the permit system, or would like to be notified by email when new information is available, please send your request to:

Additional background on the John Day River Study and the process to establish use limits can be found on the BLM website.

Additional background on the Launch Permit System can be found at the BLM website.

Associated Rivers

John Day OR
John Day OR
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