President Bush Signs Upper White Salmon Protection Legislation into Law

Bill protects about 20 miles of ‘wild and scenic’ river, enjoys strong local support

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Bush this morning signed legislation championed by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to permanently protect a 20-mile stretch of the upper White Salmon River and one of its tributaries, as part of the National Wild and Scenic River System.

“This legislation was a common sense approach to environmental protection, so future generations of local small businesses and recreational enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of this beautiful river,” said Cantwell, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “This is a big win for Washington state.”

The legislation will protect portions of the White Salmon River and Cascade Creek – all located within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The bill passed the Senate unanimously last week. It passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, introduced in that chamber by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA-03).

Cantwell and Baird’s legislation enjoys wide support from the local business community. At a committee hearing on the bill last year, Cantwell presented her colleagues with a petition supporting the proposal that was signed by 102 local citizens, 30 of whom represent local businesses.

The petition read, “This is a magnificent gem of a river, with waters that plunge through rugged canyons and provide many benefits for small towns on the way – organic herb and dairy farms; river rafting; kayaking; bed and breakfast enterprises; tourism; hiking; fishing; camping; wildflower viewing; sales of gas and food. These are only a few of the businesses and recreational activities that provide livelihoods for residents of our rural region."