Leading Active Campaigns

 

Washington

Legislation: Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 1382 and H.R. 2642)

Why Protect: Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula includes free-flowing rivers that babble through ancient forests. Such stunning scenery not only provides world-class recreational opportunities for whitewater boaters and hikers, it protects critical salmon and steelhead habitat and safeguards clean drinking water sources. With a history of more than ten years of grassroots support, this bill would designate 19 new Wild and Scenic Rivers, plus their tributaries, and more than 125,000 acres of wilderness.

Update: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on 7/10/19. In February, all three California campaigns and Wild Olympics were packaged as the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act (H.R. 2546), which passed out of the House on 2/12/20. The bill now sits with the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Contact: 

Thomas O’Keefe, okeefe@americanwhitewater.org, with American Whitewater
Greg Haller, greg@pacificrivers.org, with Pacific Rivers

Learn More: Wild Olympics website

 

Oregon 

Legislation: Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act (S. 1262)

Why Protect: This bill boosts river and outdoor recreation opportunities in Southwestern Oregon through recreation and wilderness designations that allow current forest management, promote forest health, and increase wildfire resiliency. It establishes two recreation areas on the banks of the Molalla and Rogue Rivers, adjacent to existing wilderness areas, expands the Wild Rogue Wilderness by 60,000 acres, and permanently prevents mining on more than 100,000 acres of Forest Service located at the headwaters of several National Wild and Scenic Rivers near the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. 

Update: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing on 5/14/19.

Contact: 

David Moryc, dmoryc@americanrivers.org, at American Rivers
Tom O’Keefe, okeefe@americanwhitewater.org, at American Whitewater
Brett Swift, bswift@pewtrusts.org, and the Pew Charitable Trusts

Friends of the Kalmiopsis

Legislation: Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act (S. 2828)

Why Protect: Malheur County public lands and Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands are some of the last, most wild places in the U.S. The Owyhee is known for its vast, intact fish and wildlife habitat, clean, wild waters, cultural heritage, and dark night skies. This bill designates 14.7 miles of the Owyhee River as Wild and Scenic and over a million of acres of wilderness. It also supports science-based adaptive management of federal lands and safeguards sacred tribal resources.

Update: This bill was introduced in the Senate on 11/7/19.

Contact: 

David Moryc, dmoryc@americanrivers.org, at American Rivers
Tom O’Keefe, okeefe@americanwhitewater.org, at American Whitewater
Brett Swift, bswift@pewtrusts.org, and the Pew Charitable Trusts

Oregon Natural Desert Association

Legislation: Smith River National Recreation Area Expansion Act (S. 2876)

Why Protect: In 1990, Congress enacted legislation to establish the Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA) to protect the watershed, but the boundary of the NRA stopped at the Oregon border, leaving the North Folk of the Smith River and its tributaries unprotected. The area and the river include rare hydrologic and botanical resources and supports unique backcountry recreation. This bill expands the Smith River National Recreation Area by 58,000 acres and designates 74 miles of scenic rivers, including Baldface Creek, Chrome Creek, and nearby streams. 

Update: This bill was introduced in the Senate on 11/14/19.

Contact: 

David Moryc, dmoryc@americanrivers.org, at American Rivers
Tom O’Keefe, okeefe@americanwhitewater.org, at American Whitewater
Brett Swift, bswift@pewtrusts.org, and the Pew Charitable Trusts

 

California

Legislation: Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act (S. 1110, H.R. 2250)

Why Protect: From fog-shrouded redwood forests to crystalline turquoise pools, Northern California is home to some of the most stunning landscapes. This bill protects local wild lands, expands recreational opportunities, and restores impacted watersheds by designating 379 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers, establishing eight new wilderness areas and expanding nine existing ones.

Update: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on this bill on 7/10/19. In February, all three California campaigns and Wild Olympics were packaged as the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act (H.R. 2546), which passed out of the House on 2/12/20. The bill now sits with the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Also in February, just the three California campaigns were packaged by the Senate as the PUBLIC Lands Act (S. 3288), which was introduced on 2/12/20.

Contact: 

Steve Evans, sevans@calwild.org, with California Wilderness Coalition

Legislation: Central Coast Heritage Protection Act (S. 1111, H.R. 2199)

Why Protect: The product of years of discussion and negotiation between business leaders, conservationists, elected officials, ranchers, mountain bikers and other stakeholders, this bill will ensure clean water for thriving communities, protect critical wildlife habitat and stimulate a vibrant local economy. It safeguards 159 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, designates nearly 250,000 acres of wilderness and creates two new scenic areas in California’s Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Update: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on this bill on 7/10/19. In February, all three California campaigns and Wild Olympics were packaged as the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act (H.R. 2546), which passed out of the House on 2/12/20. The bill now sits with the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Also in February, just the three California campaigns were packaged by the Senate as the PUBLIC Lands Act (S. 3288), which was introduced on 2/12/20.

Contact: 

Steve Evans, sevans@calwild.org, with California Wilderness Coalition

Ron Stork, rstork@friendsoftheriver.org, with Friends of the River

Legislation: San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (S. 1109, H.R. 2215)

Why Protect: Despite nearby gorgeous rivers, forests and mountains just to the north, Los Angeles residents are some of the most park-poor in the country. This bill spurs outdoor recreation by connecting park-poor areas, especially communities of color, to open space. It establishes a National Recreation Area along the San Gabriel River, protects 45.5 miles of rivers in Southern California, designates more than 30,000 acres of wilderness and expands the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Update: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on this bill on 7/10/19. In February, all three California campaigns and Wild Olympics were packaged as the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act (H.R. 2546), which passed out of the House on 2/12/20. The bill now sits with the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Also in February, just the three California campaigns were packaged by the Senate as the PUBLIC Lands Act (S. 3288), which was introduced on 2/12/20.

Contact: 

Steve Evans, sevans@calwild.org, with California Wilderness Coalition

(who are the other Coalition groups that should be added here?)

 

Montana

Legislation: Montana Headwaters Legacy Act (not yet introduced)

Why Protect: The Montana Headwaters Legacy Act is an insurance policy on some of the most prized and iconic waterways that will guarantee that these streams flow freely and securely within their banks for generations to come. These wild waterways provide clean drinking water to cities and towns, irrigation for crops that feed residents and visitors alike, and provide limitless opportunities in the state’s flourishing $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy. This bill designates 336 miles on 17 streams in the Greater Yellowstone and Missouri headwaters.

Update: Senator Tester’s office has committed to introducing the bill but has not yet done so.

Contact: 

Kascie Herron, kherron@americanrivers.org, with American Rivers
Jim Hepburn,jim@americanwhitewater.org, with American Whitewater
Charles Drimal, cdrimal@greateryellowstone.org, with Greater Yellowstone Coalition

Learn More: Montanans for Healthy Rivers website

Proposal: Crown of the Continent

Why Protect: The rivers and streams of the Crown of the Continent region of Montana flow from or near the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park and support thriving fish and wildlife communities and a bustling recreation economy. The proposal would designate 325 miles on 23 streams in the Flathead and Clark Fork river headwaters.

Update: Originally proposed for designation as a package along with the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, these two campaigns were separated. Legislation has not yet been drafted and community support is still being garnered.

Contact:

Kascie Herron, kherron@americanrivers.org, with American Rivers
Jim Hepburn,jim@americanwhitewater.org, with American Whitewater

Learn More: Montanans for Healthy Rivers website

 

New Mexico

greater gila river

Legislation: M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act (S. 3670)

Why Protect: The Gila River is the largest remaining, free-flowing river system in Southwestern U.S. It emanates from our nation’s first Wilderness Area, championed by Aldo Leopold in 1924. It provides critical habitat for threatened Gila trout, is a source of clean water for agriculture and wildlife, and supports New Mexico’s $2.3B outdoor recreation economy. This bill designates roughly 450 miles on 31 river segments and protects 144,000 acres of riverside lands.

Update: The bill was introduced in the Senate on 5/7/20.

Contact: Mike Fiebig, mfiebig@americanrivers.org, with American Rivers

 

Gila river 2

 

North Carolina

Proposal: Nolichucky River

Why Protect: One of the last free-flowing southern rivers, the Nolichucky Gorge flows between Poplar, NC and Erwin, TN. As a regionally-known fishing and whitewater recreation destination, protecting the river safeguards wildlife habitat and vital businesses in an economically-depressed area. This proposal would designate 7 miles of the Nolichucky Gorge flowing through Forest Service lands.

Update: Legislation has not yet been drafted and community support is still being garnered.

Contact: 

Kevin Colburn, kevin@americanwhitewater.org, with American Whitewater
Jack Henderson, hendersonjc3@gmail.com, with American Whitewater

Learn More: Nolichucky Wild and Scenic website

 

Maine

Legislation: York River Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2019 (H.R. 1248)

Why Protect: The York River watershed sustains a rich tapestry of natural areas, fish and wildlife habitat, drinking water supplies, and numerous archaeological sites. The rivers in the watershed provide quality habitat for one of the largest smelt spawning migrations in southern Maine and support an active commercial fishing industry important to the area’s economy, character, and history. This bill is supported by the York River Study Committee, a diverse group of local stakeholders that have been engaged in studying the river for designation for over three years.

Update: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on 5/22/19.

Contact: Jennifer Hunter, Jh.yorkriver@gmail.com, York River Study Committee

Learn More: York River Study Committee website

 

 

Florida

Legislation: Kissimmee River Wild and Scenic River Study Act (H.R 37)

Why Protect: This bill would protect the source of the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee and the heart of water supplies for central Florida. After decades of restoration and spending nearly $1 billion, over 63,000 acres of wetlands has been re-established within the watershed for fish, wildlife, and flora. This bill would protect that investment by authorizing a study to assess inclusion of the river in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The same bill was passed by the U.S. House on suspension in April 2018.

Update: The bill was introduced in the House on 1/3/19.

Learn More: Representative Soto’s office website