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State Scenic Waterway Program Current Events

 

Scenic Waterways Program

Oregon's diversity of river systems contribute richly to our quality of life. Oregonians decided to protect special waterways in 1970 when they voted two-to-one to establish the Oregon Scenic Waterways Program. The program seeks to balance protection and wise use through cooperation between federal, state, and local agencies as well as individual property owners and those who recreate along a waterway.


Scenic Waterway Brochure

Scenic Waterways Assessments

The Scenic Waterways Act was created to strike a balance between protecting the natural resources, scenic value, and recreational uses of Oregon's rivers by designating them. The state program, which is administered by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), currently includes approximately 1,200 miles on 22 waterways.
 
There have been no additions of State Scenic Waterways since 1988. However, under direction from the Oregon Legislature (ORS 390.855), OPRD is required to periodically study new waterways for potential inclusion in the program. In 2013-2014, OPRD conducted studies that evaluated three waterways to determine their eligibility for inclusion in the program. Issues and concerns regarding the potential designation were also evaluated to assess the feasibility of designating the waterways. OPRD worked with local advisory committees to develop draft management plans to describe in more detail how portions of the Chetco and Molalla Rivers would be managed if they were designated as State Scenic Waterway. Click here for more information...


Scenic Waterways Rules and Regulations

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department must be notified of certain activities proposed within a quarter mile of the banks of Oregon's designated scenic waterways.  Such activities may include certain logging, mining, and construction actions. The proposed uses or activities may not be started until the written notification is approved, or until on year after the notice is accepted. Click here for more information...

Molalla and Chetco Rivers Designated 

Governor Kate Brown designated two new State Scenic Waterways. Portions of the Chetco and Molalla Rivers were chosen as rivers that meet the Scenic Waterways Act criteria for outstanding scenic, fish, wildlife, geological, botanical, cultural, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The designations are now effective following the adjournment sine die of the Legislative Assembly on March 3, 2016.


Advisory Committee and Public Meetings

Meeting Materials are available online from previous meetings for the Chetco and Molalla River scenic waterway study areas.