Wizard Falls, August 2021

The Metolius River is a true Oregon treasure. Originating from springs that flow north from the base of Black Butte in central Oregon, the Metolius is famous for its beauty, its crystal clear, cold water, and the incredible aquatic ecosystem it supports.

Now, NEDC and our allies at Friends of the Metolius are working to make sure these waters are granted the protections they deserve. In June, we submitted a petition to Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission, asking the state to designate the Metolius River as an Outstanding Resource Water. This designation would prohibit future pollutant discharges into the Metolius, and ensure that the river remains a unique Oregon oasis for fish, wildlife, and future generations of Oregonians.

Now: we need your help! Until August 31, the public has a chance to weigh in on our petition.

Please take a moment to tell DEQ that EQC should grant our petition and begin rulemaking proceedings to designate the Metolius River as an Outstanding Resource Water.

Comments can be submitted to: Metolius.ORWPetition@deq.oregon.gov until 5 PM on August 31.

Help us make sure DEQ hears the following key points during the comment period:

  • The clear, cold waters of the Metolius River, along with the rich ecosystem they support, deserve to be protected from future degradation. An ORW designation is a critical step toward this goal.
  • An ORW designation would strengthen and complement existing protections for this unique resource.
  • This designation would not only provide benefits for Metolius River fish and other aquatic species, but would also benefit the state’s tourism and outdoor recreation-based economy. ORW status would protect the river as a central Oregon attraction that supports outstanding recreation opportunities.

Click here for more background information, and to read our petition!