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AW Supports Senate Bills to Protect Rivers in CO, MT & WA

Posted: 08/05/2014
By: Megan Hooker

On Monday, August 4th American Whitewater submitted testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks in support of three bills that, if passed, will protect important whitewater rivers in Colorado, Montana and Washington. Our testimony follows the committee hearing held on July 23, 2014 that we called on the public to speak out on. You can read our full testimony here. American Whitewater supports the following bills...

Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act (S. 1794) (Colorado)

People from across Colorado and the country visit Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River to enjoy whitewater boating, and visit the surrounding region to enjoy climbing, mountain biking, skiing and hiking. It is critical that the Browns Canyon region, which covers roughly 22,000 acres, receive recognition and protection as a National Monument and Wilderness to ensure that the area will remain open to outdoor recreational pursuits and to preserve Colorado’s outdoor legacy for future generations. By preserving the incredible landscape that surrounds the Arkansas River, we can ensure that visitors and citizens alike can continue to benefit from inspiring recreational experiences, and continue to sustain and grow the local and regional economy.

East Rosebud Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 2392) (Montana)

The East Rosebud Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers Act would designate 20 miles of an outstanding whitewater stream that courses through the Beartooth Mountains and onto the plains below. The stream offers paddlers an intense whitewater experience and anglers excellent fishing opportunities. Many hikers also begin trips in the Beartooth Mountains from the banks of East Rosebud Creek, and families often take advantage of the campground filled with the sights and sounds of the crystal clear stream. It is a gem in an area of incomparable beauty and national significance for its expansive wild and working landscapes.   

Recently, there was a proposal to construct a dam and de-water a section of East Rosebud Creek, which American Whitewater opposed. Throughout that process, we witnessed a genuine upwelling of concern for the Creek and opposition to the damin the local and regional community. We joined this chorus of support for a free-flowing East Rosebud Creek, and ultimately the developer decided not to pursue the project. The time we spent with local residents has convinced us that S.2392 is broadly supported, justified and timely.

Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Act (S. 2602) (Washington)

The Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Act would protect treasured Washington state rivers such as the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, Ernie's Gorge on the North Fork Snoqualmie River, the Cooper River, and the Cle Elum River, while enhancing the recreational experiences they provide. American Whitewater is an active member of the coalition of groups represented by the Mountains to Sound Greenway, where over the last 20 years we have collaborated on successful river conservation projects and initiatives designed to improve public access to the water. Designating the area as a National Heritage Area will build on our existing partnerships and forge new ones by providing a forum for addressing the shared challenges of maintaining the Greenway legacy.

American Whitewater supports protecting these rivers and their surrounding landscapes. Stay tuned for information about upcoming Senate hearings!


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