Washington's legendary volcanoes - Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams - are the source of wild, free-flowing rivers and streams that rush through deep gorges and basalt canyons on their way to the Columbia River. Major portions of the most unique and wild rivers in Volcano Country have no permanent protection from new hydropower, water storage dams, or other harmful projects. Protecting the wild rivers of southwest Washington's Volcano Country under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act - the strongest protection we can give to rivers - would permanently safeguard this region's unique and treasured natural heritage. As of 2008, the 40th anniversary of the Act, the National System protects more than 11,000 miles of 166 rivers in 38 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; this is a little more than one-quarter of one percent of the nation's rivers. By comparison, more than 75,000 large dams across the country have modified at least 600,000 miles, or about 17%, of American rivers.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest features some of the nation’s most outstanding rivers. The unique geology that is responsible for excellent fish habitat, the scenic grandeur of these rivers, and the thrilling whitewater rapids has, however, also attracted considerable attention from hydropower developers. In the last two decades, there have been dozens of proposals for hydropower projects on Volcano Country rivers and their tributaries, including the Cispus, Wind, Cowlitz and Lewis. While we know of no hydropower projects currently proposed in Southwest Washington, there are several proposed for other parts of the state and in neighboring Oregon. Increasing concern over climate change as well as our nation’s current dependence on foreign oil is resulting in calls for new hydropower and water storage dams. Wild and Scenic River designation is the most effective way to ensure that they remain free-flowing and intact forever.
If you are interested in learning more about this campaign
and how to get involved please contact Lisa Moscinski at 503.221.2102 ext. 104 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://volcanocountryrivers.org/
. To learn more about the National Wild and Scenic River System please visit http://www.rivers.gov.