In February of 2021, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced the River Democracy Act, legislation that will protect rivers throughout Oregon under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. Thank you Senators for standing up for our rivers. The River Democracy act will help ensure clean water, revitalize rural economies, and battle the harmful effects of climate change.
Legislation such as this is a rare opportunity to help protect our rivers and the fish. The River Democracy Act is focused on public lands and does not affect private property rights. Despite the restoration efforts of government agencies, non-profit groups, and individuals, nearly every fish run is in decline. We need to do better. Over the years, other local fishermen and I have been watching this decline. This bill will protect headwaters to major river systems throughout the state. These headwaters are critical to the success and future of our water for agriculture, fish, and communities. The South Umpqua River has long provided Douglas County clean drinking water, irrigation for food, cattle farms, wineries, cooling sawmill blades, and more; it is a workhorse river. It would be in our best interest to protect the headwaters of the South Umpqua River.
Please consider what our rivers do for the fish and our community. Take action to support them, call or write to Senators Wyden and Merkley and thank them for their leadership in the River Democracy Act and encourage them to include the upper South Umpqua River in the bill.