BREAKING: DeFazio Introduces Bill to Protect the Wild Rogue

A raft and kayak on the banks of the Rogue River as mist rises on the tree-covered banks - by Hanna Anderson

Today, the Wild Rogue Conservation and Recreation Enhancement Act was introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio to safeguard the incredible Rogue River and its world-class recreation!

What the bill does:

  • Establishes a 98,000-acre public lands National Recreation Area on the banks of the Rogue River in Southwest Oregon. 
  • Expands the Wild Rogue Wilderness by 59,000 acres to safeguard the largest forested Bureau of Land Management roadless area in the country

Background

Conservation advocates and public lands lovers have worked for a long time to see the beloved Rogue River and its surrounding wildlands preserved from destructive mining, reckless road-building, and misguided logging projects. Despite the area's breathtaking beauty, abundant recreation opportunities, and critical fish and wildlife habitat, it has long been treated as just another place for extraction and exploitation. 

Thanks to passionate activists and supporters like you who have kept the pressure on, we have an opportunity to enact long-sought-after protections. The expansion of the Wild Rogue Wilderness and National Recreation Area has already been moving through the Senate thanks to Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

What this means for:

Wildlife: This large, unroaded river corridor is a vital migration route between inland and coastal habitats.  Northern spotted owl, northern bald eagle, osprey, cougar, bear, and Roosevelt elk are just a few of the species that call this area home.

Forests: Wilderness designation will safeguard carbon-storing old-growth forests, as well as prohibit commercial logging and road-building projects that would degrade the landscape and increase fire risk.

Fish: This roadless area is also an important area for sturgeon, steelhead as well as Chinook and Coho salmon. Rivers covered by this legislation will prohibit new mining claims and dam construction that threaten fish spawning and habitat.

Recreation: The Wild Rogue is already known for its world-class hiking, fishing, kayaking, and rafting opportunities. National Recreation Area designation will help the Bureau of Land Management focus on enhancing recreation opportunities and public safety, like establishing evacuation routes and addressing fire risk.

What you can do!

TAKE ACTION

Thank Rep. DeFazio for this incredible contribution to his legacy, and encourage Senators Wyden and Merkley to look for opportunities to pass this important legislation this year.

Learn more from our friends at the Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center!

Photo Credits
Cover photo by Hanna Anderson, center photo of Rainie Falls by Thomas O'Keefe