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Posted: 03/12/2019
By: Evan Stafford

With the President's signature today, 621 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers have been established through the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9). With strong bipartisan support, this legislation passed the House by a vote of 363-62 on February 26th. It passed the Senate by a vote of 92-8 on February 12th. Please reach out to your lawmakers in both the House and Senate to thank them for following through on this commitment, and we make it super easy through our easy action templated forms. A personalized touch will make sure your representatives read your thank you and the forms only take a moment to update with an individualized comment about why protecting wild rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide is important to you. 


The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (S. 47) includes over 600 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers designations, permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and protects nearly 2.5 million acres of public land, many of which are landscapes containing whitewater rivers. This legislation representing a package of individual bills truly demonstrates that protecting rivers and public lands is something our entire country can get behind!


Among the provisions in the bill:

  • Oregon Wildlands would designate 256 miles as Wild and Scenic Rivers, including the Molalla and Elk Rivers and tributaries of the lower Rogue River.
  • Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area would provide a framework for collaborative management of the headwaters of the Snoqualmie and Yakima Rivers in Washington,
  • Methow Headwaters would close 340,079 acres in the Methow River watershed to new mining claims
  • Wild and Scenic Designation for the 62 miles of the Lower Farmington and Salmon Brook in Connecticut would protect the popular Tariffville Gorge section of the Farmington River
  • Emery County Public Land Management Act would include Wild and Scenic Designation for 63 miles of the Green River (including Labyrinth Canyon) in Utah, a Recreation Area (389,731 acres), and new Wilderness (661,445 acres) for Emery County including land around the San Rafael River and Muddy Creek
  • Wild and Scenic designation for 110 miles of rivers in the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed (RI/CT)
  • Wild and Scenic designation for 52.8 miles of the the Nashua River and tributaries (NH/MA)
  • Wild and Scenic designation for 77.2 miles of rivers as part of the California Desert Protection Act (CA)
  • Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important program that has supported public access to rivers since the 1960's but was recently allowed to expire

This package of public lands bills has enjoyed incredibly broad public support, allowing committee members to feel comfortable bringing this to a vote as one of the first actions of a new Congress. Our commnity's strong showing of public support pushed this bill to the forefront and is a big reason it became law. A Huge THANK YOU is in order for those of you who took action and encouraged your representatives to support this legislation. It made a big difference! 


Take action today and thank your representatives who supported these new Wild and Scenic river designations, protecting public lands and the Land and Water Conservation Fund!


If you have time please remember to personalize your message with a comment on protecting wild rivers and public lands is important to you. Thank you!

Evan Stafford

Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone: 970-420-5378
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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.

Methow River

American Whitewater supports the conservation and stewardship of the Methow River.

Restoring the Rogue (OR)

One of the great Rivers of the West, preserving the the Wild Rogue and restoring upstream reaches impacted by dams are priorities for American Whitewater.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!