Karl Konecny

Oregons Rivers Drive Tourism and Recreation Economy

Chris Daughters, McKenzie River Steward and owner of the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene wrote a great piece sharing the economic impacts the River Democracy Act of 2021 will provide for the great state of Oregon. Please read his letter below and remember, thank Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley for their support in conservation. We look forward to this bill moving forward and the protections of our beautiful rivers and streams ultimately reviving abundant wild fish for future generations.

Oregon's Rivers Drive Tourism and Recreation Economy

Currently, only 2% of our state’s rivers and creeks are protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Senator Ron Wyden’s River Democracy Act of 2021 would increase protections by adding another 4,700 river miles of some of the best trout, salmon, and steelhead habitat across our state. If all 4,700 miles in the Act are designated, we would be protecting only 5.9% of the state’s 110,000+ miles of rivers.

Earlier this month, Travel Oregon and partners released a new Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Study that demonstrates the importance of Oregon’s vast range of outdoor recreation opportunities to the state’s economy. The study found that in 2019, outdoor recreation supported more than 224,000 full- and part-time jobs statewide, generated $9.3 billion in wages and compensation, and supported $15.6 billion in spending, which includes everything from lodging and food, to outdoor gear, apparel, and repair.

Oregon’s rivers drive our tourism and recreation economy, provide clean drinking water to our communities, offer prime habitat for salmon and wildlife, and provide opportunities for Oregon families to hike, camp, fish, and hunt. If we want to continue to reap the benefits provided by Oregon’s rivers and outdoor recreation economy, we need strong protections that ensure they’ll stay healthy and sustainable for generations. Senator Wyden’s bill will offer the kind of protections we need.

Chris Daughters

Owner, The Caddis Fly Angling Shop

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