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First designation of a State Scenic Waterway since 1988
Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced the naming of 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.

"Oregon is blessed with a diversity of river systems that richly contribute to our quality of life, and Oregonians value our rivers’ importance to our economies, communities, and ecosystems," said Governor Brown. "Stewardship of our rivers is increasingly important as our population grows and our climate changes."

Oregonians voted to establish the Oregon Scenic Waterways Act in 1970 to protect the free-flowing character of designated rivers for fish, wildlife and recreation; protect and enhance scenic, cultural, and natural values; and establish a process and criteria for adding new rivers as scenic waterways. There are 1,150 miles of state scenic waterways on 19 rivers and Waldo Lake. No new scenic waterway has been designated since 1988.

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the Governor’s scenic waterways designation of sections of the Chetco River and Molalla River, and adjacent land within a quarter mile of these river sections. The Oregon Water Resources Commission agreed, and approved scenic waterway flow levels in these river sections to protect recreation, fish and wildlife.

Local advisory groups, and the Curry and Clackamas county commissions, supported scenic waterway designation for sections of the Chetco and Molalla rivers.


Contact Information

Melissa Navas
Chris Pair
Kristen Grainger



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