American Rivers Expresses Appreciation for Senator Wyden’s Effort Drafting O&C Lands Bill, Urges Changes before Bill Is IntroducedNovember 26th, 2013
For more information, contact: David Moryc, Senior Director River Protection (503) 827-8648
Statement of American Rivers’ President Bob Irvin:
Today Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a legislative discussion draft of a bill that, if enacted, would govern the management of 2.2 million acres of high value public forest lands in Oregon. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management and known as the Oregon and California (“O & C”) lands, these federally-owned forests are home to one of the highest concentrations of pristine wild rivers in the United States. The O & C lands encompass watersheds for such iconic rivers as the Rogue, Illinois, Umpqua, and McKenzie, which support abundant fish and wildlife, fishing and boating, and provide clean drinking water for roughly 1.8 million Oregonians.
“We appreciate Senator Wyden’s effort to draft legislation for the O&C lands. American Rivers supports a balanced solution for managing the O & C lands, one that preserves key watersheds and protective streamside buffers and maintains protections for threatened and endangered species, while providing a sustainable supply of timber.” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers. “We are pleased that the discussion draft reflects Senator Wyden’s commitment to safeguard rivers in Oregon, but we have serious concerns about provisions of the draft that would weaken federal environmental safeguards, particularly provisions that would significantly limit review of the environmental impacts of logging under the National Environmental Policy Act. We urge Senator Wyden to address these problems before introducing his bill and we look forward to working with him to improve the bill.”