Who Says Water is for Fightin’?

Crooked River, OR - Gary Halvorson, Oregon State ArchivesCrooked River, OR | Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

Unlikely allies—irrigators, a hydropower company, a Native American tribe and conservation groups including American Rivers—have come together in support of a solution for a decades-old fight over water in the Wild and Scenic Crooked River an important tributary of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon.

After years of collaboration U.S. Senators Merkley and Wyden introduced the Crooked River Collaborative Water Security Act of 2013 yesterday that most importantly dedicates more water in the river.  The river needs more water for redband trout and steelhead that were reintroduced as a part of American Rivers’ work to protect and restore the Deschutes River watershed.  (As you may remember Stearns Dam, also on the Crooked, was recently removed too.) Special thanks goes to Senator Merkley, his staff and American Rivers’ former Northwest Regional Director Brett Swift who really help made this happen!

In more good news for the nation’s best free-flowing rivers a key U.S. Senate Committee today passed a bill that would designate the Mississquoi and Trout Rivers in Vermont as Wild and Scenic.  Thank you Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Peter Welch, who has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House.

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