Greater Hells Canyon Council


EIN: 93-0999442

PO Box 2768

La Grande, OR  97850 

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@2018 by Greater Hells Canyon Council

Wild& Scenic River Nominations

Nominate Your favorite wild and scenic river

"Whether you are a whitewater rafter, an angler or simply an Oregonian who believes strongly in protecting the river or stream that provides safe drinking water to your community, I want to hear from you. Now is your chance, once again, to speak up for your favorite rivers and highlight the outstanding values that make each river worthy of protection.""

--Senator Ron Wyden

On October 2nd, 2019, the 51st Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, Senator Ron Wyden announced the upcoming expansion of Oregon's Wild & Scenic River designations.

About Wild & Scenic Rivers


Wild & Scenic River protection designation identifies and protects free-flowing waterways viewed as having “Outstanding Remarkable Value (ORV)."  Values focus on cultural resources, clean water, fisheries, scenery, or recreation. 

“Outstanding Remarkable” means a unique, rare, or exemplary feature that is significant – at local to national scales (for comparison) and are professional judgments.


“Value” relates to social, cultural, and ecological values and include scenic, cultural, historic, recreational, geological, fish related, wildlife related, botanical, hydrological, paleontological, scientific or other associated values. Each value needs to be directly related to the river.

To learn more check out Section 1(b) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act here.

Nominating a Wild & Scenic River is easy! The difficult part is deciding which ones to choose!


  • Send an email to identifying the stream, lake, or wetland you think has an “outstanding remarkable value.”

  • Highlight why your chosen waterway has “outstanding remarkable value.”

  • Add your name, where you live, and information about you and your nomination that could grab Wyden’s attention. 


Example – feel free to copy and make it your own! 


Dear Senator Wyden,


Thank you for this opportunity to designate new Wild and Scenic Rivers in Oregon!  


Our Eastern Oregon protected rivers and streams are essential for clean drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, world-class recreation opportunities, and a growing recreation economy – for all Oregonians. For us in Eastern Oregon, nearly all animals in our steep home landscape use waterways for shelter, food, or travel. Safe, high-quality habitat in these riparian corridors is essential for both aquatic and terrestrial species.


I would like to nominate _________

(Add in stories and some specific information about the river you would like to nominate. Use tips on "outstanding remarkable values" below to help address why the river you nominate should be chosen as a Wild & Scenic River.)


We appreciate your leadership on behalf of Wild and Scenic Rivers in Oregon!




(Add your name and community)

While you do not need to write a paper on the reason your nominated waterway deserves Wild & Scenic status, the Imnaha River Wild & Scenic River description here provides wording that may be used and adapted for your nomination.


Wild & Scenic River protections


Once identified as a Wild & Scenic River, management and activities are required to “protect and enhance the values which caused it to be included as a Wild & Scenic River.” Current activities continue to be allowed to occur as long as the waterway’s Wild & Scenic value is protected. Wild & Scenic River designation engages local communities in long-term management to protect the character and the free and natural flow of the river.  Protections include securing clean water, limiting management activities that could harm the river’s character and outstanding values, and a designated buffer along the river’s adjacent land. 


Tips on “outstanding remarkable values” to guide your nomination description


Cultural values are associated with areas important to Native American communities where cultural use occurred, occupation of a region was identified, or other areas important to Native American communities.  


Recreational values – rivers or waterways that attract visitors to the geographic region – for instance, rafting, fishing, camping, or hiking activities that are directly related to the presence of that stream or waterway. 


Fish and Wildlife values are judged on the importance of the river to fish and wildlife populations or habitat. This is especially important if the fish species are listed as endangered, threatened, or sensitive. ​


Geological values – rivers with associated important, unique or rare geologic features, such as the large jagged rocks looming over the whitewater of the Imnaha and Snake River confluence at Eureka Bar.


Scenic values – Notable landscape elements, be it landforms, color, water, plants associated with a waterway that create unique, rare and visually appealing landscapes associated with a waterway – especially important as development increases.


Historic value is a place on a river where a significant event occurred or where an important person conducted a specific activity. 


Botanical, hydrological, ecological, and paleontological values include rare plant communities, fossil exposure, and important hydrological or groundwater regions.