The Owyhee River is protected as a Wild and Scenic river and during the spring it is well known to river runners as one of the region's most spectacular multi-day river trips. Three distinct sections on the mainstem can be paddled as separate trips or strung together for one long journey. In addition, side canyons and tributaries provide opportunities for multi-sport adventures with a packraft.

While the river corridor is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, much of the surrounding landscape of backcountry terrain managed by the Bureau of Land Management is currently unprotected. At over 2.5 million acres, the Owyhee Canyonlands are the largest conservation opportunity left in the continental United States. Incredibly remote, the landscape is divided by only two paved highways that serve as the entry point for multi-day adventures in the backcountry. American Whitewater supports the designation of this backcountry as wilderness.

To achieve this conservation goal, American Whitewater is a member of the Owyhee Canyonlands Campaign, a coalition of citizens coming together to preserve the Owyhee River and its iconic desert landscapes. We envision a future for the Owyhee where plant and animal communities flourish, wide open spaces and recreational opportunities abound, and traditional livelihoods and local communities thrive. The stories, culture, and values of this area were born from the rolling sagebrush hills and dramatic river canyons, and we want the next generation to inherit the same beauty and solitude that we find in the Canyonlands today.

You can learn more about the campaign by checking out the Owyhee Canyonlands website.

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Owyhee Canyonlands Legislation Introduced (OR)

Posted: 11/08/2019
by Thomas O'Keefe

This week's introduction of the Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act (S. 2828) represents a historic move to protect over 1.1 million acres of public lands as wilderness in Malheur County centered around the Owyhee Canyonlands. The legislation also includes protection for an additional 14.7 miles of the Owyhee River as Wild and Scenic.

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Protecting Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands

Posted: 08/03/2015
by Megan Hooker

The remote and wild landscape of the Owhyee Canyonlands of Southeastern Oregon is complete with deep red-rock canyons, wild rivers and plenty of opportunities for backcountry recreation. The region is also a stronghold to over 200 species, and has fascinating geology, unique ecology and deep history. American Whitewater is part of a coalition working to permanently protect 2.5 million acres of the Owhyee, and you can learn more about the region, our proposal to protect it and ways to support our efforts here! 
 

The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.

Sultan Relicensing - Owyhee Conservation

Title Name City
Thomas O'Keefe Seattle WA Details...
Megan Hooker Details...

Owyhee Conservation

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Associated Rivers

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