Good News for Rivers

Wild and Scenic Rivers are big winner in Senate bill

Thursday, January 15, 2009
The second largest Wild and Scenic package in history passed the Senate today, safeguarding over 1,000 miles of rivers in Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Vermont, and Massachusetts. S. 22, the bi-partisan Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, includes important protections for 270,000 acres of land along 82 new Wild and Scenic Rivers. The legislation also contains new Wilderness designations for over two million acres of public land.



“We applaud the Senate for demonstrating its commitment to protect the nation’s rivers and clean water, and our priceless natural heritage for future generations. We especially appreciate the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Jeff Bingaman in passing this legislation,” said David Moryc, Senior Director of River Protection at American Rivers. “These rivers are the best of the best and Wild and Scenic designations will help many communities by safeguarding clean drinking water and boosting recreation and local economies.”


A Wild and Scenic designation creates a protected buffer along both sides of a river, blocks dams and other harmful water projects, and preserves a river’s free-flowing nature. It also helps protect and improve water quality, as well as the river’s unique historic, cultural, scenic, ecological, and recreational values.


The law was enacted in 1968 and three years ago American Rivers set the goal of designating 40 new Wild and Scenic Rivers by the 40th anniversary of the law. Passage of this package marks the achievement of our goal.


The details of the new Wild and Scenic designations can be found below:


Arizona
Area: Fossil Creek
Designated River Miles: 16.8
Rivers: Portions of Fossil Creek


California
Area: Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wilderness
Designated River Miles: 66.9
Rivers: Portions of Amargosa River, Owens River Headwaters, and Cottenwood Creek.


Idaho
Area: Owyhee Public Land Management
Designated River Miles: 316.3
Rivers: Portions of Battle Creek, Big Jacks Creek, Bruneau River, West Fork Bruneau, Cottonwood Creek, Deep Creek, Dickshooter Creek, Duncan Creek, Jarbidge River, Little Jacks Creek, North Fork Owyhee River, Owyhee River, Red Canyon, Sheep Creek, South Fork Owyhee, and Wickahoney Creek.


Massachusetts
Area: Taunton River
Designated River Miles: 40
Rivers: Portions of the Taunton River.


Oregon
Area: Mt. Hood Wilderness
Designated River Miles: 81
Rivers: Portions of South Fork Clackamas, Eagle Creek, Middle Fork Hood River, South Fork Roaring River, Zig Zag River, Fifteenmile Creek, East Fork Hood River, Collawash, and Fish Creek.


Area: Copper Salmon Wilderness
Designated River Miles: 11.2
Rivers: Portions of the North Fork Elk and South Fork Elk.


Utah
Area: Zion National Park Wild and Scenic Rivers
Designated River Miles: 165
Rivers: Portions of Taylor Creek, North Fork of Taylor Creek, Middle Fork Taylor Creek, South Fork of Taylor Creek, Timber creek and tributaries, Laverkin Creek, Willis Creek, Beartrap Canyon, Hop Valley, Current Creek, Cane Creek, Smith Creek, North Creek, Wildcat Canyon, Little Creek, Russell Gulch, Grapevine Wash, Pinespring Wash, Wolf Springs Wash, Kolok Creek, Oak Creek, Goose Creek, Deep Creek, North Fork of Virgin River, Imlay Canyon, Orderville Canyon, Mystery Canyon, Echo Canyon, Behunin Canyon, Heaps Canyon, Burch Creek, Clear Creek, Pine Creek, East Fork of Virgin River, and Shunes Creek.


Vermont
Area: Mississquoi and Trout Rivers Study
Rivers: Portions of the Mississqoui and Trout rivers.


Wyoming
Area: Snake River Headwaters
Designated River Miles: 387.5
Rivers: Portions of Bailey Creek, Blackrock Creek, Buffalo Fork of Snake River, Crystal Creek, Granite Creek, Gros Ventre River, Hoback River, Lewis, Pacific Creek, Shoal Creek, Snake River, Willow Creek, and Wolf Creek.

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