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Protect the Merced and ALL Wild and Scenic Rivers Today!

Posted: 06/13/2011
By: Megan Hooker

The Merced Irrigation District ("MID") wants to drown the Wild and Scenic Merced River by raising the New Exchequer Dam and level of Lake McClure in California. HR 869 proposes to change the Wild and Scenic designation of the Merced River, threatening not only the Merced, but all Wild and Scenic Rivers throughout the country. The bill proposes to allow MID to raise the level of Lake McClure from 867 to 877 feet, and the boundary of the Wild and Scenic designation for the Merced is Lake McClure's 867 foot full reservoir level.  If passed, this will be the first time that a Wild and Scenic River designation has been changed to accommodate development.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is one of the strongest tools that we have to protect the free-flowing rivers we value for future generations. The Merced Wild and Scenic River flows through the iconic Yosemite National Park and forms the beautiful Yosemite Valley. If passed, HR 869 would not only be a devastating blow for the Merced, but would be a threat to the integrity of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act itself. A Wild and Scenic designation is meant to be a permanent protection, and allowing the Merced Irrigation District to flood a portion of the Wild and Scenic Merced is the beginning of a slippery slope for all Wild and Scenic Rivers.  

The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing about HR 869 on Tuesday, June 14th. While the committee hearing has passed, there is still time to let your Congressional Representative know that you oppose drowning the Wild and Scenic Merced River and HR 869.  Please take a moment today to contact them.  You can find your Representative in the upper righthand corner at The Merced and all Wild and Scenic Rivers – current and future – need you to voice your support. You can also use Friends of the River’s letter writing tool. If you use this tool, we strongly encourage you to personalize your letter as much as possible, saying why Wild and Scenic Rivers are important to you. 

American Whitewater is actively working to oppose this legislation and protect Wild and Scenic Rivers. Please support our efforts by making a donation to American Whitewater today!


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Merced Wild and Scenic River

American Whitewater's advocacy to maintain the boundary of the Merced Wild and Scenic Merced River.

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