Angels Camp, California –May 15 , 2008 – OARS (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists), the trend-setting rafting and adventure travel company, is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by hosting a benefit whitewater rafting trip on Idaho’s world-class Main Salmon River in August.  OARS will donate 50% of the proceeds of their August 24-29 trip to the American Rivers non-profit organization.

Championed by Idaho Senator (D) Frank Church, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on October 2, 1968.  U.S. Congress or the Secretary of the Interior may designate a river, or a section of a river, as Wild and Scenic.

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System now protects more than 11,000 miles of 165 rivers in 38 states. (This is a little more than one quarter of one percent of the nation’s rivers.)  Legislation strives to balance river development with permanent protection for the country’s most outstanding free-flowing rivers.

Southern Oregon’s Rogue River was among the first to receive Wild and Scenic status.  To honor the river’s historic importance and to kick off the 40th anniversary year, OARS recently launched a special dory expedition, including David Moryc, Director, American Rivers’ Go Wild! Initiative, Steve Markle, OARS. Marketing and Partnerships Director, Tyler Wendt, OARS. Operations Manager, as well as a team of guides, guests and international members of the press.

OARS has a long history of river conservation and sound ecological practices.  The California-based outfitter offers trips on numerous Wild and Scenic rivers throughout the West, including the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the Main Salmon River and the Snake River through Hells Canyon in Idaho, the Tuolumne, American, Merced River near Yosemite National Park and the Upper and Lower Klamath rivers in Northern California, as well as the Rogue River and Owyhee River in Oregon.

OARS has been collaborating with American Rivers for more than a year to promote the 40th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  American Rivers, founded in 1973, is the leading national organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive.  They currently claim more than 65,000 members and supporters nationwide.

Said Rebecca Wodder, American Rivers President, “Protecting our last, best rivers is more important than ever.  Healthy, free-flowing rivers give us clean water.  They are lifelines for fish and wildlife.  They provide priceless recreation opportunities.  It’s our responsibility to leave a legacy of healthy rivers for the next generation, and a Wild and Scenic designation is a great way to do that.”

Markle stated recently, “The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act paved the way for recreational access and river conservation on so many of our storied waterways: we hope to reinforce its significance by reaching out to our staff and our travelers with a meaningful educational message.  We are proud to support American Rivers as the steward of these treasured American waterways.”

OARS’ goal isn’t simply to be one of the most environmentally responsible tour operators in the world, but to continually raise the bar and challenge other companies to raise their standards as well.  OARS was the first river rafting company in the U.S. to offset all of their carbon emissions, and they recently converted to 100% solar for their warehouse and main office operations in Angels Camp, California, and for their warehouse and office in Flagstaff, Arizona, for their Colorado River operations in the Grand Canyon.  They are staunch supporters of organizations who advocate for rivers and the environment, including Idaho Rivers United, Grand Canyon Trust, Friends of the River, American Whitewater, Hells Canyon Preservation Council and Leave No Trace.

In partnership with their guests, OARS has contributed over $2,600,000 in donations and fees toward the preservation of the environment and to various conservation initiatives since the company was established in 1969.


Since 1969 OARS has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines of the world.  OARS caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide, including one-day and weekend escapes.  For more information on OARS eco-friendly adventures, including a free 84-page color catalog, call OARS at 1-800-346-6277, email the company at info@oars.com or visit www.oars.com.