|Fishing on the Chetco|
Now that the Chinook have begun to return to the Chetco, it’s a good time to check in on where we’re at with the Chetco River Protection Act –the legislation intended to permanently protect our National Wild and Scenic River from the threat of instream mining.
Of course, over the summer, Secretary of Interior Jewell signed a administrative mineral withdrawal that will protect the Chetco for 5 years to give Congress timer to make this protection permanent.
In the meantime, on the Congressional front, the Chetco River Protection Act has become entangled in the controversy over increasing logging on federal lands in Western Oregon.
Last spring, the bill was tucked into the House bill introduced by Representatives DeFazio, Schrader and Walden, which would divide the O&C lands in two and create a timber trust to increase logging on one half —while the other half would gain increased protection.
On the Senate side, the bill was appropriately tucked inside the Oregon Treasures Act last summer and has most recently been attached to Senator Wyden’s proposed O&C lands legislation.