House passes bill to protect Oregon’s Molalla River

Molalla River in Oregon. Courtesy Molalla River Alliance.

With bipartisan support from Oregon’s delegation, the U.S. House of  Representatives has approved Oregon’s Molalla River Wild and Scenic bill, which would provide 21 miles of the river with the highest level of federal protection under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Preservation of the Molalla River would safeguard the crystal-clear and biologically diverse headwaters of the river beyond the Table Rock Wilderness. The river is home to native winter steelhead and salmon and provides clean drinking water to nearby communities. The waters and land of the Molalla also provide an abundance of recreational opportunities, including river rafting, kayaking, hiking and horseback riding.

In a statement released after the House vote, lead sponsor of the bill, Representative Kurt Schrader, stated:

“The Molalla River is nothing short of a natural treasure. Not only are we preserving its awe-inspiring beauty for future generations but we are also bringing badly needed economic benefits to our region through increased tourism and recreational opportunities. More visitors to the area mean more business for local hotels, restaurants and recreational providers; and more business is exactly what Oregon needs right now.”

The bill passed the House 292-133 and garnered full support of Oregon’s delegation. Now the bill moves to the Senate where Oregon Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have introduced an identical measure.

For more information about the Molalla River system, visit the Molalla River Alliance’s website.

photo: Molalla River in Oregon. Courtesy Molalla River Alliance.