Last week, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act celebrated its 50th year as law of the land. Also last week, the Oregon Wildlands Act sponsored by Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Thge Oregon Wildlands Act would protect 108,000 new acres of Wilderness in the Devil’s Staircase and Wild Rogue areas, designate 255 miles of river across Oregon as Wild and Scenic, and safeguard more than 119,000 acres of the Rogue and Molalla Rivers as national recreation areas.
Sportsmen across the state heralded the bill’s passage out of committee.
“Oregon Wildlands Act will further protections for rivers like the Molalla, Chetco, and Rogue, which are critical sources of high quality fish habitat and clean drinking water,” said Terry Turner, chair of the Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited. “They provide excellent recreation opportunities for families to fish, hike and enjoy.”
Trout Unlimited would like to thank Wyden and Merkely, and Reps. Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader for their leadership in protecting Oregon’s iconic fisheries and will continue to advocate for the act as critical to protecting the values that make Oregon an ideal place to live, work, and recreate for hunters and anglers alike.
— Kyle Smith