ACTION ALERT: Ask Senator Feinstein to Protect the Merced!

Posted: 05/15/2012
By: Megan Hooker

The threats facing California's Wild and Scenic Merced River continue, and we need your help to protect it and the integrity of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The House will vote very soon on HR 2578, which proposes to de-designate a portion of the Wild and Scenic Merced River, drowning it. The bill would roll back the boundary of the Wild and Scenic section, allowing Merced Irrigation District to raise New Exchequer Dam and Lake McClure. This section of river has its headwaters in Yosemite National Park. The section that would be flooded is some of the best wilderness paddling on the Merced River.

The photo on the left is what the river will look like if the plan goes to the one on our homepage for how it should remain.
Last month, Senator Dianne Feinstein agreed to not pursue legislation that would drown the Wild and Scenic Merced. Unfortunately, the pressure is still on. No matter where you live, please call Senator Feinstein today and thank her for not pursuing a rollback of the Merced's Wild and Scenic designation last month, and ask her to continue to protect the Wild and Scenic Merced into the future. When you're done, call your Congressional representatives too and express your concern that what's happening on the Merced could be detrimental to Wild and Scenic rivers throughout the country, including the ones you love in your home state or region.  
Proponents of the project claim that Lake McClure would only fill in the wettest of years, aproximately once every six years - but we know that once a river has been inundated, permanent damage will be done.  The benifit of this reservior expansion is minimal - to date, the project has never spilled. The damage to the Merced and the Wild and Scenic Rivers system isn't justified for an unnecessary project.  
Our nation has a strong history of building dams, and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was established to balance this policy.  A Wild and Scenic designation protects the free-flowing nature of select rivers with outstandingly remarkable values - from present and future generations.  The Wild and Scenic Merced became part of that system in 1992, and should remain so into the future.  


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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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