"A Historic Chance to Protect America’s Free-Flowing Rivers"

"Ten bills in Congress would add conservation protections to 7,000 miles of river to safeguard drinking water, biodiversity and recreation."

"Each year thousands of tourists who visit Central Oregon trudge up a steep half-mile path to see Tumalo Creek emerge from the pine forest and plunge 97 feet over lava rock into a narrow canyon. Tumalo Falls is the highlight for visitors who hike along the 20-mile creek. But for residents in nearby Bend, the creek is also a prized source of drinking water and a haven for wildlife.

Years-long efforts to protect the ecological integrity and scenic values of Tumalo Creek could be solidified with a bill now in Congress. The River Democracy Act would designate not just Tumalo but 4,711 miles of rivers throughout the state as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

“This legislation will be good news for anyone who likes clean drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, and public lands recreation,” says Erik Fernandez, wilderness program manager at Oregon Wild. “It will protect some of the most scenic rivers we have in Oregon.”"

Tara Lohan reports for The Revelator March 2, 2022.

Source: The Revelator, 03/03/2022