Rafting Outfitters and Guides Urge Congress to Protect Wild Rogue Wilderness

Rogue River by Hanna Anderson

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the busy summer season, a coalition of outfitters and guides is calling on Congress to pass critical legislation aimed at increasing safeguards for the Wild Rogue Wilderness. Thirteen guiding businesses that rely on the Rogue River for their operations sent a letter this week to Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Congresswoman Val Hoyle, urging them to protect the Rogue–one of Oregon’s greatest natural treasures.

The proposed Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act (S. 440) and the Wild Rogue Conservation and Recreation Enhancement Act (H.R. 7509) have been pending in Congress for over a decade, and these businesses say the time to act is now.

The Rogue River, renowned for its breathtaking scenery and untamed beauty, cuts through the Siskiyou Mountain Range and is one of Oregon’s premier recreational destinations. It draws tens of thousands of visitors each year, playing a vital role in the local economy.

Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor recreation is a significant economic driver in Oregon. A recent study by Travel Oregon revealed that 95% of Oregonians participate in outdoor activities annually. In 2019, outdoor recreation generated $15.6 billion in spending and supported 224,000 jobs across the state. The ripple effect of this economic activity is particularly pronounced in rural areas like the Rogue River region, benefiting restaurants, hotels, recreation providers, and retail businesses.

A Legacy for Future Generations

Protecting the Wild Rogue Wilderness is about more than conserving land. It’s about preserving the legacy of natural beauty and adventure for future generations. By passing this legislation, Congress can ensure that our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to explore and enjoy these pristine lands just as we do today.

Supporting Voices

This letter was signed by a wide range of local outfitters and guides, all businesses that depend on the health of the Rogue River:

Zachary Collier, Northwest Rafting Company
Tim Thornton, River Drifters
Kelsey Helfrich, Helfrich River Outfitters
Tyler Wendt, The OARS Family of Companies
Brian Sykes, Ouzel Outfitters
Dave Lacey, South Coast Tours
Kait Sampsel, Humble Heron Fly Fishing
Hugh Hague, Noah’s Wilderness Adventures
Will Volpert, Indigo Creek Outfitters
Kory Mahr, Orange Torpedo Trips / Briggs Rogue River Trips
Pete Wallstrom, Momentum River Expeditions
Alyssa WarrenWood, Rogue Infinity Outfitters LLC
Peter and Jonah Grubb, ROW Adventures and Sea Kayak Adventures

Take Action

Join these businesses and hundreds of other Oregonians by taking action to support protections for the Wild Rogue

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