Wild Rogue

Momentum River Expeditions
The world-renowned Rogue River cuts through some of Oregon’s most scenic, rugged, and wild landscapes. Nestled in the Siskiyou Mountain Range in Southern Oregon, the river is one of the state’s premier recreational destinations, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The Wild & Scenic Lower Rogue River was one of the original rivers to be designated under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Since then, Oregon Wild has been involved in efforts to expand protections, winning incremental victories to ensure this natural treasure is preserved for future generations of people and wildlife.

A large and visionary plan is needed to truly protect the region, and Oregon Wild is working with a coalition of organizations, businesses, and community members to support congressional legislation that will add new protective designations such as Wilderness and National Recreation Areas for the landscapes along the Rogue River.

  • What makes the Wild Rogue so special?

    The Wild Rogue is home to one of the most diverse and breathtaking landscapes in Oregon. Mossy green plunge pools and fern walls near creeks with rocky and talus slopes are common. Northern spotted owl, bald eagle, osprey, cougar, bear and Roosevelt elk all call this rugged area their home. In the river, you’ll find all sorts of fish including spring/fall Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, cutthroat trout, lamprey, winter/summer steelhead, and even green sturgeon! 

    Visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wild Rogue to hike, fish, raft, and otherwise enjoy the area, directly supporting hundreds of jobs, and contributing millions of dollars to the local economy. The Wild Rogue also provides vital salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing habitat, providing the backbone for one of Oregon’s most important sport and commercial fisheries.

  • Is the Wild Rogue threatened?

    While the river and its adjoining wildlands have long been celebrated for their natural beauty, the area continues to be threatened by proposals to bulldoze and clearcut the surrounding old-growth forests, including proposals from local politicians to log right up to the banks of the Rogue River and its tributaries. In 2003, the Bureau of Land Management proposed a logging project that would have clearcut hundreds of acres of wildlands that was only defeated after a sustained public outcry.

  • Why isn’t the Wild Rogue already protected?

    For decades, Oregon Wild and our allies have been advocating for greater protections for this incredible landscape, including the designation of a National Recreation Area and expansion of the Wild Rogue Wilderness to include the Zane Grey Roadless Area. Wilderness designation for the largest forested BLM roadless area in the country would safeguard the area’s forests and its role as an important migration corridor connecting inland habitats to the coast for fish and wildlife.

    Recognizing the region’s ecological importance, conservationists and logging interests agreed to protect the Wild Rogue as part of a 2010 agreement. The Wild Rogue was included in a 2019 public lands protection package. Unfortunately, logging lobbyists for the American Forest Resource Council secretly reneged on the bargain and succeeded in having protections for the Wild Rogue stripped from the bill.

Rogue River in Oregon (c) Greg Burke
Greg Burke
Bonsai Springs on the Rogue River Headwaters by Alan Hirschmugl
Alan Hirschmugl

Key Staff

  • Erik FernandezWilderness Program Coordinator
  • Sami GodloveCentral Oregon Field Associate

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