U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is calling on the public to nominate rivers that should be protected under the national list of Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Congress enacted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968 to preserve rivers that offered extraordinary natural, cultural and recreational value for the public. The act protects the free-flowing nature of rivers in both federal and non-federal areas.

Oregon currently has 2,173 miles of designated in the Wild and Scenic River system, although this remains a fraction of the state’s 110,994 miles of major rivers and streams. Protected rivers include the Metolius and the Deschutes.

Outdoor recreation in Oregon, much of it centered on rivers and streams, supports 172,000 jobs in Oregon and generates $16.4 billion in economic activity statewide. Oregon’s rivers are also important sources of drinking water, as well as habitats for fish and other wildlife.

Nominations from the public will be accepted through Jan. 20, 2020 and can be sent to rivers@wyden.senate.gov.

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