For over two decades, Western Rivers Conservancy has been working to protect the great rivers of the West by acquiring outstanding riverlands and placing them in the hands of long-term conservation stewards. WRC has established the highest standards and practices in the industry and serves as a model for land trusts across the West.
"As controversial legislation to remove dams in the Klamath Basin awaits congressional approval, the right to manage one of the river’s main tributaries and its most important salmon stream will soon be restored to the Yurok Tribe.
This month, some 6,479 acres along the middle reach of Blue Creek will be transferred out of Green Diamond Resource Company’s ownership as part of a plan to buy the entire 47,000-acre watershed and return it to Native American stewardship. Once the deal goes through, the Yurok Tribe will manage about 30,500 acres around Blue Creek, all acquired since 2011 through a partnership with Portland-based non-profit Western Rivers Conservancy.
Using a complex financing scheme, the conservancy will receive and hold the latest parcels for a seven-year period before selling to the Yurok Tribe, which takes over land management from the outset."
Why do we protect rivers? There are many persuasive reasons why we should protect them, but why we do protect rivers can be more complicated, even mysterious. In the U.S., rivers feed us by irrigating millions of acres of farmland. They store our drinking water. Their dams provide much of our electric power. They carry boats that carry our freight. Yet we sometimes declare part or all of a river off-limits to alteration, obstruction, diversion, or motorized use. Why?
Last week, the Public Lands Foundation presented Western Rivers Conservancy with a 2014 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation for our work along Oregon’s Sandy River. We feel very honored to receive this award and equally proud to have worked in partnership with the BLM to conserve over 17 river miles along the Sandy River and its key tributaries.
Snaking across eastern Oregon, the John Day River winds through a land of basalt canyons and sweeping river bends, where bighorn sheep outnumber cars and the scent of sagebrush fills the air. In spring and summer, boaters put in at sites like Service Creek, Twickenham and Clarno and spend multiple days floating the river, bass fishing and soaking up the spectacular scenery. Each fall, hunters and anglers return to the river just as surely as the wild steelhead do with the coming of higher water.