Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford/Ashland), introduced Senate Bill 401 to the legislature last week, which would add stretches of a host of rivers to the state’s protected scenic waterways list.
Portions of the following rivers are included: Applegate River, Brice Creek, Briggs Creek, Cedar Creek, Chetco River, Cow Creek, Illinois River, Eagle Creek, Elk Creek, Grande Ronde River, Grave Creek, Josephine Creek, Little Applegate River, McKenzie River, Molalla River, North Fork Burnt River, Quartzville Creek, Rogue River, Rough and Ready Creek, South Umpqua River, Sandy River, Silver Creek, South Fork Alsea River, Sucker Creek and Yachats River.
Mining interests are getting their machine oiled up. Follow the progress of the bill through the legislature (now at the state Environment and Natural Resources Committee), read the text of the bill (pdf), and contact your representatives.
The Oregon Scenic Waterways Program was established in 1970, and requires notice to The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department when cutting of trees, mining, construction of roads, railroads, utilities, buildings, or other structures are proposed within 1/4 mile of the bank of protected waterways.