With the approaching 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, we take a look at the difference that designation has made for the White Salmon River, as well as looking forward at the 5,000 Miles of Wild campaign. Join Wild River Life, American Rivers, and American Whitewater this Thursday, November 16th, at Base Camp Brewing in Portland to learn more about what they’re up to and kick off the 5000 Miles of Wild campaign!
As Washington’s most popular – and perhaps the Pacific Northwest’s – rafting and kayaking destination, the White Salmon River shines as an example of the Wild and Scenic Act’s ability to restore and support a river and its community. The White Salmon River has received designations on two sections of river over the years from the NWSRS for its unique canyon and bedrock geography, hydrology, resident fish, Native American heritage and draw for the whitewater boating. Once the river gained protection, first in 1986 then again in 2005, additional funding permitted the purchase of BZ Corner land for boating access. Now managed by the USFS, the land has allowed more river enthusiasts to enjoy this spectacular waterway.
The lessons of the White Salmon River’s life thus far are so loud and apparent that it has brought together the community to celebrate it and protect its future, to take the lessons from its past to influence the future of rivers everywhere. The White Salmon River has inspired many, and some from within the Wet Planet Community have turned that inspiration into their own journeys to help protect rivers across the country.
When Susan and Adam Elliott moved to the PNW, Susan began guiding and instructing kayaking at Wet Planet. Through involvement in the White Salmon River Fest and other local events and organizations, they became a part of the process to remove the Condit Dam. As they saw the changes that the White Salmon River was going through and the community rallying around it, wheels started turning. A few years later, the idea formed to start Wild River Life to visit and paddle 50 Wild and Scenic Rivers, exploring how Wild and Scenic designations support different communities. They hope to get more people out on the rivers who have yet to feel the freedom of floating and highlight why these designations are important. Join Wild River Life, American Rivers, and American Whitewater this Thursday at Base Camp Brewing in Portland to learn more about what they’re up to and kick off the 5000 Miles of Wild campaign!
Wet Planet sponsored professional kayaker and film maker Brendan Wells has teamed up with friend and photographer Eric Parker to plan an 18-month journey to Alaska to highlight the importance of the public and protected lands there. Brendan has been a driving force in local river conservation, producing incredible films focused on the White Salmon River and helping coordinate the White Salmon River Fest, and we’re anticipating great things from this next leg of his journey to explore some of the most incredible rivers in our country. Forms of Water is setting out to be a story of history, freedom, and of those who fight for what they believe in.
More locally and close to our hearts is the White Salmon River Fest. Founded in 2006 by Wet Planet co-founder Jaco Klinkenberg, the White Salmon River Fest celebrates the White Salmon River, the communities, and the natural and cultural history that surrounds the watershed. The River Fest aims to gather the local boating and non-boating community together for celebration, education, whitewater rafting and kayaking, food, dance, and more. The vision and goal for the annual event has always been to increase the knowledge and awareness of the river system for local professional guides, boaters and extended community members by providing fun informational and education events, giving back to the community including service projects, and free or affordable river events concluded with a celebrating party at the end.
What do you love about rivers? Is it time spent with good company, dropping into big rapids, the life that lives in and around them, or the stunning scenery? Wild and Scenic Rivers are a gift to each and every one of us, providing irreplaceable pieces of nature, clean drinking water, a sustainable source to support local economies, a place to play and enjoy the company of one another among the crashing waves and tranquil pools. It is an incredible community to be a part of and inspiring to see that passion for these places driving people to make such a difference in the world…one river at a time. Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic River Act designation. Share your story about what rivers mean to you with us or on their website. Bring your friends to visit a Wild and Scenic River. Come to local events celebrating our rivers, and follow the journeys of people who are out to make a difference.
Wet Planet takes pride in and loves to share our Wild and Scenic Rivers! The White Salmon River, Klickitat River, Owyhee River, and Hood River are all protected Wild and Scenic Rivers that we would love the opportunity to show you. Book a trip for 2018 to see for yourself why our rivers are worth protecting!