Wild & Scenic Merced River At Risk

Even though our focus has been on the protion of the Merced that runs through Yosemite, the river is about 120 miles long and it blends into the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley. All the legal maneuvers in the Park and the MRP aside, there are real active issues going on right now. I focus on Half Dome, but it’s good to be informed.

On November 8, (just a few weeks ago), the House Natural Resources Committee passed HR 2578.  The full House is expected to pass the measure to roll back wild & scenic river protection for the Merced River. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, this will be the first time in the history of the national wild & scenic river system that the Congress has repealed wild & scenic river protection in order to inundate a once protected free-flowing river in order to construct a reservoir. In essence, this would allow nearly a mile of the Merced Wild River downstream of its confluence with the North Fork to be permanently flooded by future New Exchequer Reservoir expansion. The expansion is proposed as part of the Merced Irrigation District’s hydroelectric program.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: Rolling, rolling, on the river.” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to Wild & Scenic Merced River At Risk

  1. Maureen L says:


    thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    I had heard of this bill, the first to “undo” a wild and scenic river designation, but not that it had passed out of committee.

    according to the info at Friends of the River, this dam has never been at capacity, and would add a mere 2 % to the Merced Irrigation District’s capacity.

    more information from friends of the river, and link to email your rep/senators, here:


    and here’s the testimony from the director of the BLM, saying they should wait, at least,


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