Out here in the West, water conservation and land access are vital for both rural and urban communities. Our friends at the Western Rivers Conservancy work to conserve these valuable places, by buying damaged land along the West’s greatest rivers, rehabilitating it and permanently protecting it for wildlife and public use.
So what has Western Rivers Conservancy been working on lately? Where have your Western Rise purchases made an impact?
Rio de los Piños, Colorado
Last month, WRC successfully protected 368 acres along Colorado’s Rio de los Piños, a tributary to the Conejos River and the Rio Grande. The Rio de los Piños is an exceptional wild trout stream, and the stretch that WRC protected meanders through a scenic alpine meadow. WRC’s efforts created new access to the river and prevent development along the stream, ensuring the scenic views along this stretch of the river remain permanently unimpeded for all to enjoy.
North Umpqua River, Oregon
In May, WRC permanently conserved over a mile of Oregon’s famed North Umpqua River, a salmon stronghold with exceptional hiking, mountain biking and fly fishing. The project ensured that a crucial trailhead, at the western entrance to the 80-mile North Umpqua Trail, stays protected and open to the public for good. The 211-acre property was a former county park that was put up for sale. Rather than see the property logged or closed to the public, WRC purchased it and worked with the Bureau of Land Management to place it into permanent protection within the North Umpqua Wild and ScenicRiver Corridor.
South Fork Salmon River, Idaho
In Spring, WRC began an effort to conserve one of the last remaining parcels of private land along Idaho’s spectacular South Fork Salmon River. They committed to purchase a 234-acre ranch to improve boating and angler access to the river and hiker and hunter access to the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness. The South Fork Salmon River is one of the world’s premier multi-day, whitewater wilderness rivers with nearly nonstop class IV/IV+ whitewater. It is surrounded on all sides by the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness (the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48) and the Payette National Forest.
Blue Creek, Oregon
WRC is also currently approaching the finish line on our multi-year effort to save Blue Creek, the most important cold-water tributary to California’s Klamath River and a sacred stream for the Yurok people. The Klamath is the third largest salmon producer on the West Coast. The effort will conserve over 47,000 acres and ensure Blue Creek is protected in its entirety.
Click Here to Check Out WRC's Current Projects & Past Successes
Photo Credit: Russ Schnitzer