Rogue. Molalla. Chetco.
These are rivers that millions of Oregonians rely on for drinking water, yet they are not fully protected.
The good news? Senator Ron Wyden has introduced a bill that will protect these vital drinking water sources and recreation areas.
Currently, just 4 percent of Oregon is protected as wilderness. This is less than half the percentage of protected wilderness in Idaho (9%) and Washington (10%), and less than a third of that in California (15%) — at least as of 2014.
The Oregon Wildlands Act is a good first step to helping Oregon compete with its neighbors. Oregon not only has millions of acres worth protecting due to their sheer beauty, but Oregonians need protected wild areas to support clean drinking water, healthy watersheds, abundant fish and wildlife, a resilient climate, and a vibrant and growing outdoor recreation economy.
By The Numbers
- The Oregon Wildlands Act would designate 107,800 acres of wilderness in the Wild Rogue and Devil’s Staircase areas, safeguard 252 miles as Wild and Scenic Rivers, and protect 119,120 acres of the Rogue Canyon and Molalla rivers as national recreation areas.
- Roughly two million residents in local communities depend on the region’s rivers, including the Rogue, Chetco and Molalla, as their primary source of drinking water.
- The Oregon Wildlands Act would protect some of the last remaining stands of ancient forests, some more than 300 years old.
- Outdoor recreation in Oregon generates $12.8 billion in consumer spending, 141,000 jobs, $4 billion in wages and salaries and $955 million in state and local tax revenue. River-based recreation on the Rogue River alone accounts for $30 million in total economic output.
Join us in celebrating this significant step forward, and thank Senator Wyden for being a conservation leader!