Owyhee River and Land Protections Would Boost Recreation Economy, Support Local Ranchers

Senator Wyden introduces Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act

November 7, 2019

Contact: David Moryc, 503-307-1137
Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

American Rivers today applauded Oregon Senator Ron Wyden for introducing legislation to protect Owyhee River canyon country for the benefit of the Burns Paiute Tribe, local ranchers and the recreation economy.

The Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act designates 14.7 miles of the Owyhee River as Wild and Scenic and over a million of acres of wilderness. It also supports science-based adaptive management of federal lands and safeguards sacred tribal resources.

Malheur County public lands and Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands are some of the last, most wild places in the U.S. The Owyhee is known for its vast, intact fish and wildlife habitat, clean, wild waters, cultural heritage, and dark night skies. The process led by Senator Wyden ensures that this incredible landscape can be protected while preserving and improving current uses.

David Moryc, Senior Director for Wild and Scenic Rivers and Public Lands Policy at American Rivers, made the following statement:


“After decades of conflict, Senator Wyden’s leadership has brought together ranchers, conservationists and the Burns Paiute Tribe to craft a conservation vision for the Owyhee River canyon country and millions of acres of public land in southeastern Oregon. We look forward to working with the senator to improve protections in the bill for the rivers and springs that are the lifeblood of this incredible landscape.”

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