Washington, DC -- American Rivers today named Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) as a 2009 River Champion. Senator Crapo has been a champion of Idaho’s rivers and should be applauded for his efforts to pass legislation to designate 16 rivers within the Owyhee Canyonlands as National Wild and Scenic Rivers.
“The work that all parties did on the Owyhee Initiative has proven that the collaborative process works, and the protection of natural resources is a key element of the legislation,” said Crapo. “Again, I thank the Owyhee County Commissioners, Shoshone-Paiute tribes and all the members of the Owyhee Initiative Work Group for their hard work over a long period of time.”
The president of American Rivers, Rebecca Wodder, made the following statement:
“Idaho has some of our most celebrated wild rivers—the Salmon, Snake, and Selway just to name a few. Because of Senator Crapo’s leadership we can now add the special rivers and lands in the Owyhee Canyonlands, including the Owyhee and Bruneau Rivers to the list of Idaho’s natural wonders that will be protected forever.”
“Senator Crapo should be applauded for bringing together a diverse group of local stakeholders including ranchers, rafters, county commissioners, tribes and hunters and anglers to forge a plan to preserve one of the last unprotected high deserts on the United States.”
“The protections for the Owyhee Canyonlands passed as a part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 which designated 86 new Wild and Scenic Rivers, totaling over 1,100 miles in eight states including Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Senator Crapo was instrumental in bringing together members of Congress across the political spectrum to pass this monumental piece of legislation.”
Kevin Lewis, conservation program director of Idaho Rivers United added, “Senator Crapo’s leadership during the eight-year-long Owyhee Initiative collaborative process gave us much more than Wild and Scenic Rivers, new wilderness, and healthier communities. He showed Idahoans and folks across the U.S. how much can be accomplished when people come together, and work together to resolve differences and find common ground.”
The River Champion Award has been given out annually to members of U.S. Congress who have shown outstanding leadership in protecting our rivers – a valuable resource for clean water, local economies, and public health.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.