Salt Lake City - River protection will be in the spotlight when federal officials visit Salt Lake City on Tuesday, August 3 to help shape its broad new initiative, America's Great Outdoors, aimed at promoting recreation and conservation.
Utah Rivers Council, American Rivers, Trout Unlimited, and other river conservation leaders are calling on the administration to make rivers a focal point of America's Great Outdoors.
Rivers like the Colorado, the Green, and the Escalante offer world class boating and fishing, and are gateways to explore the state's unmatched national parks, wilderness, and other public lands. They are closely tied to the state’s economy, educational programs and recreation for both residents and tourists alike.
"Rivers help people of all ages discover the outdoors. They connect us to our natural heritage. We need more safeguards for our rivers so future generations can enjoy them," said Matt Rice of American Rivers. "With the designation of the Virgin River as the state’s first Wild and Scenic river in 2009, the people of Utah made an important first step in protecting its extraordinary natural heritage. But there is still much work to do in ensuring Utah’s rivers remain wild and free-flowing.
The groups say more Wild and Scenic designations for the state's rivers would enhance recreation and boost the tourism economy. They are calling for protections for the Green River, which is threatened by a proposal to divert 250,000 acre feet water to Colorado.
“The Green River is a world-renown river and one of the West’s most pristine river ecosystems” said Zach Frankel of the Utah Rivers Council. “It deserves to be saved for the benefit of future generations rather than being spread onto Colorado lawns.”
The listening session will take place during the annual Outdoor Retailers Show in Salt Lake. American Rivers will be partnering with Kelty at the show to raise awareness about the need for river protection.
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.