American Rivers Statement on HR 3492, The River Paddling Protection ActFebruary 19th, 2014
Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
American Rivers opposes H.R. 3492, the River Paddling Protection Act. This bill, as amended, would lift the National Park Service’s longstanding ban on paddling on most waters in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, effective three years from the date of enactment.
The Park Service would have those three years to develop a new set of regulations that would clarify which waters would be open to paddling and under what conditions. The bill was introduced by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and was incorporated into H.R. 2954, a package of legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.
American Rivers opposes this legislation because we believe that it is inappropriate for Congress to micromanage individual uses in our national parks, especially if these uses have the potential to impair park resources or adversely impact visitor experiences. We believe that management governing paddling and other recreational activities on our Wild and Scenic Rivers and in our National Parks should be developed using the best available science and with ample opportunities for public involvement, not by Congressional fiat. We urge the Senate to reject H.R. 3492.