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 through...compare 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
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.