I just wanted to briefly point out how great it is that Sen. Wyden spearheaded the move to expand the wild and scenic rivers in Oregon. Overall, the state has around 1% of its rivers and streams designated as such, and with this new push it should end up closer to 6%. Still, this pales in comparison to the 17% of all U.S. river miles that are impacted by our 75,000 or so dams.

At a time when there is a new weekly reminder of climate derangement, it is a step in the right direction to safeguard these habitats. Every little piece is worth protecting. Carbon accounting only gets us so far, and I fear that without intact ecosystems everywhere, we’ll continue to face adverse effects with weather.

In this plan it’s refreshing to see that clean, cold water and fire planning are put in the forefront. What’s more, tribal voices will have a place in the conversation about how to manage these waterways and riparian areas. Overall, it seems to be a safe compromise that leaves private property and irrigation rights fully protected. I hope similar legislation is given consideration here and elsewhere into the future.

Garik Asplund


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