Testimony to the Department of Environmental Quality for the Outstanding Resource Waters designation for the North Fork Smith River, its tributaries and wetlands.
February 22, 2017
Greetings Environmental Quality Commission,
My name is Jake Crawford and I am here today on behalf of the Native Fish Society, our 3,000 members and supporters, and over 80 grassroots River Stewards who are in favor of the Department of Environmental Quality’s proposal to designate the remarkably pure and clean waters of the North Fork Smith River and its associated tributaries and wetlands as Outstanding Resource Waters. NFS is a science-based, conservation non-profit that works with place-based volunteers to help protect and recover wild, native fish and steward their habitats.
The North Fork Smith River and its tributaries are truly an Oregon gem, and we are fortunate to have such outstanding, intact waters in our state. The first time I saw the North Fork Smith I was amazed by its beauty, and was grateful for water so pure you could drink from its ginclear falls that flowed right into your bottle. Not only should the North Fork Smith River and its tributaries be recognized for the exceptionally clean, clear waters it provides to downstream communities, but these waters are integral to the recovery of threatened coho salmon, and provide critical habitat for world-class runs of wild steelhead, fall Chinook salmon, sea-run and resident cutthroat trout and rainbow trout.
The long-term survival of these native species depend on the protections afforded to them, and an Outstanding Resource Waters designation will help prevent degradation to this unique and important watershed, and it is consistent with other goals and plans from other management agencies who work in this watershed. For these reasons, I urge the Environmental Quality Commission to designate the North Fork Smith River and its associated tributaries and wetlands as Outstanding Resource Waters. Thank you for the opportunity to be here today and for your consideration.
Southern Regional Manager