As you’re reading this, we’re closing in on the end of the 2018 lame duck session of the US Congress. The lame duck session of Congress is that period following an election, but before newly elected legislators assume their roles and outgoing members bid farewell to their offices. This is a time when both parties try to push their priority legislation over the finish line.
Despite the noise coming from DC these days, Congress has a historic opportunity to pass a public lands package that includes numerous bipartisan bills that are priorities for hunters and anglers – we’re counting on Congress to deliver for America’s sportsmen and women. Part of the public lands package coming together would protect some of the most iconic watersheds in Oregon. The Oregon Wildlands Act, introduced by Senator Ron Wyden as S. 1548, would protect some of Oregon’s most valuable salmon and steelhead fisheries by designating more than 200,000 acres of land as wilderness or national recreation areas and adding more than 250 miles to the Wild and Scenic River System in the Chetco, Elk, Rogue, Molalla, and Nestucca River systems.
Salmon, trout, and steelhead rely on the cold, clean water provided by intact lands, free from development, mining, and industrial scale logging that has degraded watersheds in other systems up and down the West Coast. Wilderness and wild and scenic designations are the best tools we have for protecting watersheds and ensuring habitat remains intact for fish and other wildlife.
This bill would be good news for anglers, anadromous fisheries, and all who care about our public lands. We need your help to push the Oregon Wildlands Act over the finish line! The fate of this bill will be decided today, and you can help by picking up the phone and calling the legislators listed below and urging them to pass the Oregon Wildlands Act.
“Hi, I’m [NAME] from [CITY]. I’m calling to urge [Rep or Senator XXXX] to pass the Oregon Wildlands Act.”
Including a short reason why the rivers and watersheds protected in the Oregon Wildlands Act can help bring your message home. Whether you’re an angler, hunter, hiker, or birder, your elected officials need to hear from you and your voice will make a difference in passing this bill!
Representative Peter DeFazio- 202-225-6416
Representative Suzanne Bonamici- 202-225-0855
Representative Earl Blumenauer- 202-225-4811
Representative Greg Walden- 202-225-6730
Senator Ron Wyden- 202-224-5244
Senator Maria Cantwell (Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman) – 202-224-3441