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Weigh In on Wednesday River Conservation Hearing

Posted: 07/22/2014
By: Kevin Colburn

On Wednesday, July 23 at 2:30 ET, Colorado Senator Mark Udall will lead a hearing of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee on a suite of land and river conservation bills.  The hearing will focus on several bills that are near and dear to the paddling community, and your calls to the Senators on the Subcommittee would help secure permanent protection for several rivers and landscapes important to paddlers.  The most exciting bills on the roster in our opinion include:

Create Browns Canyon National Monument (S. 1794), which would cover 22,000 acres between Salida and Buena Vista, Colorado, include 10,500 acres of Wilderness, and protect the popular and treasured Browns Canyon whitewater stretch of the Arkansas River. For several years, American Whitewater has played an important role in crafting and supporting this legislation, along with local outfitters, landowners, and civic groups. Paddling is a huge part of the economic and social fabric of the Arkansas River Valley, and now is a great time to speak up for the river, and the jobs that it provides.  Learn more.

Designate East Rosebud Creek a Wild and Scenic River (S. 2392), which would protect roughly 20 miles of this spectacular Montana whitewater stream from future dams and impacts.  Just last year AW helped defeat a proposed hydropower dam on the stream – for now.  The local community has rallied around their backyard river, from paddlers to ranchers to homeowners, and there is a chorus of support for permanent protection.  Learn More.      

Establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area (S. 2602) between Seattle and Ellensburg, Washington.  This action will improve river access, hiking access, and biking opportunities throughout this popular paddling region, including on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, Ernie's Gorge, Cooper, Cle Elum, Fall in the Wall, and other great runs. Learn More.

You can watch the hearing HERE.

More importantly though, if one of your Senators is on the Subcommittee, send them a quick email prior to the hearing voicing your feelings on the bills.  We’re talking to you paddlers in CO, OR, VT, MI, HI, NM, WI, OH, WY, UT, TN, and ND.

Associated Projects

Greenway Whitewater (WA)

The Mountains to Sound Greenway stretches over 100 miles along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington. AW is engaged in promoting stewardship and protection of the rivers in this corridor.

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