Protecting the Wild Molalla River

Baby Bear Rapids on the Molalla RiverOregon Wild is working with the Molalla River Alliance to protect the Wild and Scenic Molalla River for future generations to enjoy as we do today. The Alliance is comprised of 45 partners ranging from the Oregon State Police to Molalla River Anglers to the City of Molalla.

One of the critical functions of the Molalla River is to provide clean drinking water to the cities of Molalla and Canby. The river also supports an abundance of wildlife including native winter steelhead and salmon runs, geological wonders and a wide range of recreational opportunities.

The Molalla River Recreation Corridor is well known for its hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, swimming, picnicking, nature watching, or simply enjoying the sounds of the River. There are more than 30 miles of non-motorized trails which access numerous waterfalls and vistas.

State Scenic Waterway
In early 2016 Governor Kate Brown designated the Molalla River as a "State Scenic Waterway". This designation is different than a congressionally designated Wild and Scenic River. Both designations however are very helpful in protecting the river corridor, the wildlife that call it home, the natural scenery, low impact recreational opportunities, and free flowing nature of the river.  One difference is that the state designation does not include the Table Rock Fork that has been proposed by locals and congress. A map of the State Scenic Waterway is available on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept website additional info here.

Wild and Scenic River
Oregon Wild and the Alliance have mapped and documented 23 miles of the Molalla River and the Table Rock Fork of the Molalla River which deserve protection as a Wild and Scenic River.  Click here to see a map of the proposal.                  

This area also serves as an important wildlife corridor containing critical habitat for the northern spotted owl, pileated woodpecker, red tree vole, red-legged frog and pacific giant salamander. It also provides habitat for bears, cougars, bobcat, deer, elk, beaver, otter, hawks, osprey and both golden and bald eagles.

The Molalla River provides critical spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead, salmon and native wild cutthroat trout. Distinct populations of Molalla River steelhead and salmon are listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

Molalla River winds through tree-lined shores

Top photo by Molalla River Alliance. Bottom photo by Tommy Hough.