President Donald Trump has signed into law the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, a sweeping act of bipartisan legislation containing more than 120 public lands, resources, sportsmen, conservation, and water management bills.
Though the natural resources the bill concerns are scattered all over the country, most of them outside Oregon, there is one that’s very well-known and important to the people of Canby: the upper Molalla River. It’s where we get our drinking water from, and it’s also a source of recreation and natural beauty to many who live in the area.
This new lands package makes the upper Molalla a Wild and Scenic River, an official designation that recognizes rivers that possess “outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values.”
The designation protects these rivers from the construction of dams or other modifications so they can be preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Here’s Canby City Council President Tim Dale, discussing the designation at a recent meeting.
Less than a quarter of 1 percent of our rivers are protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers designation. By comparison, it’s estimated that over 600,000 miles of waterways, or about 17 percent of American rivers, have been modified by the country’s system of more than 75,000 large dams.