FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2021
HOUSE PASSES KEY PROTECTIONS FOR NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA FORESTS AND RIVERS
The bill promotes forest restoration, wildfire protection, conservation, and recreation in four counties
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives passed the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act. This bill will guard communities against wildfires, boost local economies, improve outdoor recreation access, and enhance water quality and wildlife protections in Northwest California. Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced the Act in the House.
The protections span public lands throughout Northern California’s Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, and Del Norte Counties. This includes designating about 317,000 acres of public lands as wilderness, 379 miles of new wild and scenic rivers, and requiring management plans for an additional 101 miles of existing wild and scenic rivers. These new conservation measures also will better protect critical water sources, fisheries and wildlife habitat,
Advocates are congratulating Representative Huffman for championing this effort in the House, and asking the Senate to take action. In particular, local supporters hope to see Senator Padilla help carry this effort over the finish line this year. Vice President Harris and Senator Feinstein championed complementary legislation in the Senate during the last Congress.
Click here for the full announcement from Representative Huffman.
Below are quotes from local leaders marking this moment:
Jennifer Johnson, Owner, Adventures Edge
“As the current owner of an outdoor recreation business that has been a part of Humboldt’s recreation economy for over 50 years, and employs 18 people, I am thrilled this bill is closer to becoming law. The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests Act builds on the strong recreation economy of our region that has benefited local citizens and drawn visitors from around the nation. I look forward to exploring these important places with my family and sharing them with our visitors.”
Will Harling, Director, Mid Klamath Watershed Council
“This bill is a well thought out and balanced approach to protecting key watersheds while still protecting our rural communities from the ever increasing risk of wildfire.”
David Steinhauser, Owner, Trinity River Rafting
“As the owner of Trinity River Rafting, a local business that depends on the health of our rivers and lands, I strongly support Representative Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act. Like our many customers who enjoy rafting and hiking along the rivers proposed for protection, my wife and I love to hike and run along the Canyon Creek trail, and its spectacular waterfalls and cascades. This legislation will ensure that these magnificent places are around for future generations to enjoy.”
Angel Brewer, Realtor, Weaverville
“As a retail grocery store owner for over 17 years and now as a Realtor, I recognize the multiple benefits of this proposal. I have experienced first-hand the year round economic activity that already exists because of our current protected public lands. Folks from all over the world come to hike the Alps, swim in the lakes, raft and fish the river and return during the winter holidays as well. This bill will expand these benefits for our local communities and enhance the positive impact of the millions of visitors who come to experience outdoor recreation in Northwest California.”
Trevor Fagerskog, Chair, California Council of Trout Unlimited
“California’s salmon and steelhead have sustained cultures and local economies for generations. But many populations of these iconic fish are now listed or at-risk. We need to do more to conserve our best coldwater habitats and fisheries. Representative Huffman, being an angler himself, knows this better than most. Trout Unlimited applauds his leadership over many years in building this timely legislation, which is vital for better protecting and restoring some of the most famous steelhead streams in the world, including the Trinity and Eel Rivers.”
# # #The Northwest Mountains and Rivers Campaign is a coalition of conservation organizations, business owners, land owners, biologists, hunters, anglers and other community members who support Congressman Huffman’s effort to protect special places, restore watersheds and fisheries, support economic development, enhance recreational opportunities, and protect communities. Learn more: mountainsandrivers.org