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Scenic Waterways Program
Background & Overview
canoeing on the river  
The people of Oregon established the Oregon Scenic Waterways Program in 1970, recognizing that wise individual and public use of these special rivers and adjacent lands is necessary. It strives to achieve a balance between protecting the rivers´ natural resources and the equally valuable lives and plans of the people who live along them.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department must be notified of certain activities proposed within a 1/4 mile of the bank of Oregon’s designated scenic waterways. Such activities include cutting of trees, mining, construction of roads, railroads, utilities, buildings, or other structures. The proposed uses or activities may not be started until the written notification is approved, or until one year after the notice is accepted.

Process Overview
Written notification to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is required for certain activities proposed within Oregon scenic waterways.  Such activities include cutting of trees, mining, construction of roads, railroads, utilities, buildings, or other structures.  Commencement of the proposed uses or activities occurs upon OPRD approval, or one year after the notice is accepted.
Review Process
The following materials are on this website for your review and use:
  • Scenic Waterways Act, Oregon Revised Statutes 390.805 to 390.940 (See "Oregon Administrative Rules and Oregon Revised Statutes");
  • Scenic Waterways Rules, Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 736, Division 40 (See "Oregon Administrative Rules and Oregon Revised Statutes");
  • Notification of Intent Form (See "Guidelines, Procedures & Forms");
  • Timber Harvest Form (See "Guidelines, Procedures & Forms"); and,
  • Staff Contact Information (See "Key Staff").
The Notification of Intent form is for the landowner to make written notification to OPRD.  Acceptance of this form is dependent upon completion with the required information and attachments including landowner signature, location, activity, map drawing, etc.  We ask that all drawings be no larger than 11”x17”.
Upon acceptance of a complete notification by OPRD, the review process begins.  Copies of the notification and all associated materials are provided to affected agencies and interested parties for their review and comment.  Upon closure of the comment period, OPRD conducts a site visit to review the proposal.  OPRD staff, the property owner or representative, and interested agencies typically attend the site visit.  During the site visit, staff will consider whether the proposal meets the scenic waterway requirements, or whether modifications are necessary.  After the site visit, OPRD determines whether the project will comply with the scenic waterway regulations.  If the proposal is in compliance, OPRD will issue a written approval for the project.  As required in the statute and rule, this process concludes within one year of receipt of a complete notification; however, OPRD works to finalize reviews within four to six weeks of accepting a complete notification. 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the staff person listed for your area.
For a printable version of this section [click here ].

Scenic Waterway Rules
Oregon Administrative Rules and Oregon Revised Statutes
Although there are specific Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) that relate directly to each scenic waterway, there are other OARs that apply to all​ state scenic waterways.  To see the complete list of rules [click here ].
To see the statutory authority for the Scenic Waterways [click here ].

List of Scenic Waterways
Waterways, Specific Regulations and OPRD staff contact

 Clackamas River
    Clackamas River    

 Nestucca River
    Nestucca River 

 Deschutes River

 Owyhee River
    Owyhee River 

 Elk River
    Elk River 

 Rogue River
    Rogue River 
    Upper Rogue River 

 Grande Ronde River
    Grande Ronde River 

 Sandy River
    Sandy River 

 Illinois River
    Illinois River 

 Santiam River
    Little North Santiam River 

 John Day River
    John Day River 
    North Fork 
    Middle Fork 
    South Fork 

 Umpqua River
    North Umpqua River 

 Klamath River
    Klamath River 
 Waldo Lake
    Waldo Lake 

 McKenzie River
    South Fork 

 Walker Creek
    Walker Creek 

 Metolius River
    Metolius River 

 Wallowa River
    Wallowa River 

 Minam River
    Minam River 

 Willamette River
    North Fork of the Middle Fork 
    of the Willamette 

Guidelines, Procedures & Forms
Guidelines & Procedures
Scenic Waterways Landowners Guide
Notification Procedures

There are two forms available for landowners to use to notify OPRD of proposed activities.
The Notification of Intent form must be filled out for activities. This form asks for information similar to that which you would provide to a county or city planning department; structure height, exterior colors, distance of the proposal from the river, existing and proposed vegetative cover, etc. are all a part of this form.
Notification of Intent Form (PDF Form)
Notification of Intent Form (RTF Fillable Form)

The Timber Harvest form is a supplement to the Notification of Intent form. The Timber Harvest form is for harvest activity other than hazard tree removal or personal fire wood cutting. As this form is supplemental to the Notification of Intent form, it must be submitted in conjunction with a complete Notification of Intent.
Timber Harvest Form (PDF Form) 
Timber Harvest Form (RTF Fillable Form)

For the Scenic Waterways Map, [click here ].

Key staff
Katie Duzik  (Nestucca River and Walker Creek)

401 SW 9th Street
Newport, OR. 97365
Voice: (541) 265-4456
Cell: (541) 270-9436
Fax: (541) 265-9157
Sherri Laier (North Umpqua, Elk, Rogue and Illinois)
89814 Cape Arago Highway
Coos Bay, OR. 97420-9647
Voice: (541) 888-3778 x 245
Cell: (541) 252-7055
Fax: (541) 888-5650
Greg Ciannella (Deschutes, Grande Ronde, John Day, Klamath, Metolius, Minam, Owyhee, Waldo Lake, and Wallowa)
1645 NE Forbes Road, Suite 112
Bend, OR 97701
Voice: (541) 388-6236
Cell: (503) 580-2434
Fax: (541) 388-6391
Andrea Berkley (Sandy, Clackamas, Little North Santiam, McKenzie, and Willamette [North and Middle Forks] )
2501 SW 1st Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97201
Voice: (503) 872-5377
Fax: (503) 731-3296