At long last, hell has frozen over!!! Texas U.S. Senator Katy Bailey Hutchison introduced
into the U.S. Senate, Senate Bill (S.) 2324, Upper Neches Wild and Scenic River Study Act, which
authorizes the study of the Neches River for eligibility as a designated National Wild and Scenic
River. This is a dream that conservationists, including the Sierra Club, have had for over 30
The bill provides for the National Park Service or the U.S. Forest Service to study a 225 mile
section of the Neches River, from Lake Palestine Dam in Anderson and Cherokee Counties to Dam B
(B.A. Steinhagen Lake) in Jasper and Tyler Counties, for wild and or scenic river status.
The Neches River is one of the few rivers in East Texas that has long stretches of undammed water.
This river is known for its superb canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hunting, and enjoyment of Nature's
sights and sounds including many species of wildlife. As a wild and scenic river, the Neches would
be judged on its scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, and other values.
The goal of an ultimate designation of wild and scenic for the Neches River is to preserve its wild and
natural character for the American People.
The stretch of Neches River which would be studied by S. 2324 runs along the boundaries of Davy Crockett
and Angelina National Forests, Big Slough and Upland Island Wilderness Areas, and the newly designated
Neches River National Wildlife Refuge.
The study will take 2-3 years and if successful will lead to a second congressional bill that will
designate the Neches River as a wild and scenic river. The study process will include all of those
interested in the future of the Neches River including area cities and counties, riverside property
owners, timber interests, recreational users, water developers, tourism officials, conservation groups,
and the general public.
Please write Senator Hutchison and thank her for introducing S. 2324: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison,
1919 Smith Street, Suite 800, Houston, Texas 77002-8051.
Please also write Senator John Cornyn and tell him to support S. 2324: Senator John Cornyn, 5300
Memorial Drive, Suite 980, Houston, Texas 77007.
May 1, 2012