Fortuna, Ca., (KIEM) The Eel River Recovery Project teamed up with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and California Wilderness Coalition to celebrate 50 years of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and Eel River Wilderness at the Fortuna River Lodge.
The celebration shined a light on the fact that over 300 miles of the river is, in fact, wild and scenic meaning it cannot be dammed.
Sunday’s conference allowed Humboldt County to become acquainted with more remote areas of the eel river basin to find out how they can get connected through hikes, floats or volunteering to help protect and improve access to wilderness areas and lastly to talk about the beautifying of the river.
Managing Director of the Eel River Recovery Project, Patrick Higgins, said this is partially what the conference is about to inform people that they can get out and into the wilderness and connect with it.
“The Eel River is one of the best chances to save Pacific salmon in the Pacific Northwest we hardly have any pesticides or herbicides in this river and other rivers are really beleaguered by those things. The eel has a wild watershed with low population densities and it has the salmon run about 10 to 50 thousand. So many animals are doing great and in other rivers and other places in the state because of pollution not so much,” said Higgins. “If you good to nature is going to reward you if you work against nature it’s going to play tricks on you.”
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed in the late 1960’s and protects over 12,000 miles of the most outstanding rivers in America from being dammed or despoiled.