Featured Organization: Pacific Rivers Council
As a member of the Wild Rogue Alliance, the Pacific Rivers Council (PRC) has joined other conservation groups, including Pew, whitewater rafters, anglers, kayakers, businesses, students, families and individuals to form a coalition aimed at preserving the spectacular wild lands of the lower Rogue River as a legacy for future generations. PRC is working with our partners to establish 93 miles of Wild and Scenic River protection and 58,000 acres of new wilderness in the Zane Grey section of the Rogue. They are developing a suite of non-regulatory measures, such as fixing erosion problems from the expansive road network, to maximize ecological and economic benefits to aquatic resources. PRC is also engaged in several policy fronts on federal lands and water management that have large implications for the Rogue.
The Rogue River is the largest producer of Pacific salmon in Oregon outside of the Columbia River, with nearly 100,000 anadromous fish returning from the ocean each year. These massive salmon and steelhead runs provide the backbone for a sport and commercial fishing economy worth millions of dollars annually to the state of Oregon.
The lower Rogue River and associated tributaries provide ecologically valuable habitat for fish and other aquatic species. Fall and spring chinook, coho and summer and winter steelhead utilize the proposed Wild & Scenic tributaries within the roadless areas for spawning, rearing and migration. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined that the tributaries proposed for Wild & Scenic designation are among the most important areas in the entire lower and middle Rogue River for spawning and rearing winter and summer steelhead and Coho salmon.
PRC believes that certain rivers are so important to the economies and the ecology of the region that their legacy to future generations should be maintained as they are today, and where possible, restored. The Rogue is a prime example. These “Legacy Rivers” should be recognized in federal legislation that protects their headwaters on federal lands and provide incentives to promote better management throughout the river system. PRC's Legacy Rivers Program is an ambitious effort to identify our best river systems and engage at the local community level in actions to permanently protect and restore the most ecologically critical areas of rivers like the Rogue.
PRC began working on behalf of the Rogue watershed in 1987 as a lead advocate of the Oregon Omnibus National Wild and Scenic River Act of 1988, which added significant protections for the upper Rogue River. For nearly 25 years, PRC has been a national leader in advocating for science-based public policies to protect and restore aquatic resources. The organization played an important role in the creation of Oregon's first watershed councils and continues to work to deliver financial resources and technical advice for restoration efforts. PRC works strategically to protect and to restore the best remaining rivers in the Northwest, believing that healthy rivers contribute greatly to the economy and that protecting and restoring rivers brings enormous benefits to local communities.