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HR 934 alert on the Merced River

Tim Palmer, Merced River ThumbnailMerced Action Alert

Scroll down to act now.

 

Congress added 12 miles of the lower Merced River to the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System on October 23, 1992, completing the protection of this magnificent Sierra Nevada river, much of which was originally protected by Congress in 1987.

The Wild & Scenic Merced flows from glaciers at the crest of the Sierra, through Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Valley, and into the Sierra foothills. The lower segment protected in 1992 includes public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management from the small community of Briceburg on Highway 140 to the upper limit of McClure Reservoir. This segment is home to the rare limestone salamander (found nowhere else on earth outside of the shaded slopes of the Merced River canyon) and provides outstanding opportunities for whitewater recreation, hiking, bike and horseback riding, and camping. Part of this Wild segment flows through the Merced River Wilderness Study Area.

Twenty-one years later, Rep. Tom McClintock wants to remove federal protection from a segment of the lower Merced to allow for possible enlargement of McClure Reservoir. Not satisfied with just voting for the federal government shutdown that closed Yosemite and other National Parks and federal wild areas throughout the nation, McClintock wants to start removing hard-won protection from some of our wildest rivers to allow for destructive development.

If you haven’t already sent an email to your Congressmember opposing McClintock’s bill, please do so today and Tell Congress To Reject Legislation Threatening The Wild Merced!

Representative Tom McClintock, declaring that the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act is little more than  “outrageous red tape”, has introduced H.R. 934, a bill that removes federal protection from segment of the Wild & Scenic Merced River to allow for possible reservoir expansion. A similar bill was approved by the House of Representatives last year but stalled in the U.S. Senate

H.R. 934 threatens public lands in the Merced River Wilderness Study Area and the Wild Merced river corridor. Expansion of the McClure Reservoir would not only drown scenic and popular public recreation lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, it would also flood habitat set aside to preserve the threatened limestone salamander, an amphibian found no where else on earth.

H.R. 934 could be heard by the House Public Lands Subcommittee any day now. If it passes, it could be fast-tracked with a number of other environmentally destructive bills that passed the House last year. But right now we have another chance to stop this river-destroying and precedent-setting bill in the House. Please send an email to your Representative in Congress urging him or her to vote “No” on H.R. 934 and reject this misguided attempt to remove federal protection from the Wild Merced and weaken the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

You can read more in-depth background on our Merced River Page.

MWSR HR2578 threat map

 

Please ask your Senators and Congressional Representatives to oppose this measure, scroll down for an easy way to send an email. And Please post the action link to your Facebook page - Thank you!

View a video that provides an overview of the issues:  Threat to the Wild & Scenic Merced.

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

Message

Re: Oppose HR 934 (McClintock) to de-designate the Merced Wild & Scenic River!

Dear [Decision Maker],

H.R. 934 (McClintock) may soon be scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives. I urge you to reject this precedent-setting bill and to fight to retain federal protection for one of the wildest and most scenic segments of the Wild Merced River in California.

This bill has ramifications far beyond the segment of the Wild Merced that it threatens. It represents a serious effort to weaken the intent of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act to protect our free flowing rivers for present and future generations. If Congress starts removing federal protection from our few remaining free flowing rivers, there may be no end to efforts by some interests to open up once protected rivers throughout the nation for destructive development.

Removing federal protection from a segment of the Wild Merced to allow for speculative reservoir expansion could result in the flooding of public lands that provide spectacular recreation opportunities for hikers, bikers, equestrians, kayakers, rafters, hunters, and anglers. The reservoir expansion would not only violate the Wild Merced, but also flood a portion of the supposedly protected Merced River Canyon Wilderness Study Area. In addition, removing federal protection from the Wild Merced could result in the flooding of public land providing habitat for the threatened limestone salamander, an amphibian found no where else on earth and a species protected under state law.

H.R. 934 is simply a bad idea. The potential reservoir expansion the bill facilitates would produce a negligible amount of new water and it would be costly and perhaps even unsafe. Further, the proponents of the reservoir expansion may study the feasibility of expanding the reservoir without removing federal protection from the river, which leads many to believe that the true intent of this bill is to weaken the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and not simply to facilitate water resources development.




California already has 1,400 major dams and more than 32 miles of the Merced River has already been flooded by reservoirs. We don't need to remove federal protection from the Wild Merced to allow for an entirely speculative reservoir expansion idea. Please vote "No" on H.R. 934 and reject any attempt to remove federal protection from the Wild Merced River.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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