Livestock Removal Success: Blitzen River

Name: Blitzen River
State(s): Oregon
County(ies): Harney
Watershed(s): Donner und Blitzen River
Ecosystem Type: Sagebrush Sea
Species Benefited: Redband trout, sage grouse
Federal Unit(s): Burns District BLM
Acreage: 76 river miles; 22,265 acres
Method(s): Litigation
Law(s) Invoked: Wild and Scenic River Act
Term of Removal: Since March 1997. Future grazing was contingent on environmental impact statement (EIS) that was never completed. Now EIS is moot because more recent Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act designated river corridor as cow-free wilderness.
Prime Mover(s): Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
Summary Explanation: Designated by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River in 1988. A premier blue-ribbon redband trout fishery in the West. Livestock found to be incompatible with outstanding recreation and fishery values. Judge banned grazing pending court-ordered EIS. Recent Steens Mountain legislation overlaid cow-free wilderness on the Wild and Scenic River corridor making grazing ban permanent.