TU applauds House passage of S.47, new protections for Oregon fish and habitat

Tue, 02/26/2019




Dean Finnerty, Pacific Northwest Regional Director, Sportsmen’s Conservation Project 
(541) 214-0642, dfinnerty@tu.org  
Kate Miller, Director of Government Affairs 
(703) 489-6411, kmiller@tu.org  

House passes historic public lands protection package 

Legislation includes new protections for hundreds of thousands of acres of backcountry and streams in Oregon, will conserve vital salmon and steelhead habitat and help sustain regional fishing economy  

(February 26, 2019) COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited praised the House of Representatives today for passing the Natural Resources Management Act, a package of public lands bills that will better protect vital habitat for steelhead and salmon and support the commercial and recreational fishing economy across the Pacific Northwest.  

Today’s House vote comes after the Senate voted overwhelmingly on February 12 to pass this carefully crafted legislative package. TU and other sportsmen’s groups celebrated the swift and bi-partisan movement of this package of more than 100 individual bills through both chambers of Congress. The legislation now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law. 

“This bill is a tribute to the power of collaborative stewardship where communities of place and interest come together to conserve the places they live and the rivers they love to fish,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “There is more work to follow, and our efforts to protect and restore the lands and waters that we cherish is never done. But today is a day to celebrate. We offer our true thanks to our members of Congress and their staff who worked hard to advance this historic agreement, and we celebrate the hard work of sportsmen and women in our efforts to protect these special places across the country.” 

The Natural Resources Management Act includes provisions important to the Pacific Northwest region such as: 

  • The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area Designation Act, which protects some 100,000 acres on Steamboat Creek, vital spawning habitat for summer steelhead in a key tributary to the North Umpqua River.   

  • The Oregon Wildlands Act, which will better conserve habitat and angling opportunities by designating more than 250 new miles of iconic fisheries like the Rogue, Chetco, and Molalla rivers as Wild and Scenic Rivers and by creating new wilderness in the Devil’s Staircase area.    

  • The Methow Headwaters Protection Act which protects crucial coldwater habitat for rainbow, cutthroat, and bull trout, mountain whitefish, Chinook salmon, and steelhead by placing 340,000 acres of national forest land in the Upper Methow Valley off limits to large-scale mining.    

  • Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Act which includes federal authorizations needed to advance the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a balanced, stakeholder-driven package of actions that will restore hundreds of thousands of salmon and steelhead to the basin, improve water quality and quantity, and support a healthy agricultural and recreational economy.  

  • Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Since 1964, the LWCF has leveraged a portion of royalties on offshore energy development into new outdoor recreation opportunities, improved access for anglers and hunters, new recreation infrastructure for communities, and conservation of important habitat areas in all fifty states. The LWCF is widely hailed by sportsmen as one of the most effective federal programs ever for conserving habitat and improving sporting access. 

“This is a great day for Oregon’s salmon and steelhead, and for sportsmen and women,” said Mark Rogers, chair of TU’s Oregon Council. “These bills ensure that some of the last, best habitat we have for salmon and steelhead in Oregon will be permanently protected, and that access for fishing and hunting will be sustained. We thank Senators Wyden and Merkley, Representatives DeFazio, Schrader and Walden, and other leaders in both the House and Senate who guided these bills to passage, and for honoring the conservation legacy of homegrown Oregon heroes such as Frank and Jeanne Moore.” 

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Trout Unlimited  is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and TwitterInstagram and our blog for all the latest information on trout and salmon conservation. 



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