Important Salmon and Steelhead spawning habitat are threatened by dredging on the Rogue... Ken Morrish Photo
The public comment period for Hellgate Jetboat Excursion's 404 & 401 permit applications has been extended until August 3, 2021.
On May 27, Hellgate Jetboat Excursions applied for a US Army Corp of Engineers 404 permit and Department of Environmental Quality 401 certification to dredge over 1000 cubic yards of gravel, sand, and sediment at 9 locations in the Rogue River. While local businesses are an important part of the regional tourism economy, the greater Rogue Valley community deserves to have their voices heard especially when it comes to major decisions regarding the health of the river that we all depend on and enjoy.
Hellgate is currently asking for the right to excavate up to 500 feet of the Rogue River bed at each location and depositing this material along the riverbanks which would alter the natural course and beauty of the river. This is not the first time that this company has applied for a permit to dredge the Rogue River. In 2018, the company applied for the same permit but never moved forward due to a significant lack of information in their application.
Concerns for this proposal include:
- Insufficient information in the application for the public to fully review the impacts of the proposed activity;
- That the agencies should consider practicable alternatives and public benefit;
- That the agencies should fully evaluate the potential harm to waters of the United States in violation of the Clean Water Act;
- That the project is not in compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
Recreational tourism is important to the Rogue Valley economy. However, the interests of one company should not dictate what happens to a river we all use and enjoy. The dredging proposed would have significant impacts on clean water, important chinook salmon habitat and other forms of recreation that we all depend upon.