Wyden And Merkley Seek Expansion Of Oregon's Protected Rivers

Apr 1, 2021

More of Oregon’s river system may be protected against environmental threats, through legislation backed by the state’s two U.S. Senators.

Scenic river view in Oregon.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden support a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, following 15,000 nominations made by Oregonians since fall of 2019.  

Senator Wyden – who introduced the “River Democracy Act of 2021” – said more than 2200 state residents participated in the public process.

"So we added 4,684 miles of rivers to our system, and I think, particularly the protection of private property, and beefing up our effort to deal with fire risks has made this a very attractive effort across the state.”

The bill also encourages federal land managers to develop river management plans with Native American tribes.  Since being introduced in February, the bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  

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