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Wyden & Merkley Push For More River Protections In Oregon

After passing legislation earlier this year that applied the highest form of environmental protection to 30,000 acres in the coast range and 250 miles of rivers in Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced a new conservation bill.

Wyden says the new legislation enhances the earlier legislation in important ways.
“We’re looking at the Molalla up in the Valley, and then we’re trying to do more to protect the Rogue and some of the incredible places in Southwestern Oregon.”
The Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, would also outlaw mining on 100,000 acres in southwest Oregon.
The two senators said establishing the protected areas would increase the state's outdoor recreation economy, but stressed that legislation wouldn't stop projects meant to reduce the threat of wildfire.
Opponents of the bill said the legislation could make wildfires worse, especially in a southwest Oregon region hit hard by wildfire the past five years, while limiting timber supply.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
Barbara Dellenback returned to KLCC in December 2017 after pursuing other radio gigs and fundraising for community benefit organizations. She's host of the KLCC podcast The Oregon Grapevine. You can hear her on the radio hosting Weekend Edition, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered.
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