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North Santiam River

Although it starts and finishes its run through the Douglas-Fir National Monument running east west, the bulk of the North Santiam runs from the south to north, marking the dividing line between the Old Cascades and the new Cascades to the east. Arising in the lakes at the foot of Three-Fingered Jack in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness, the North Santiam flows west to the edge of the wilderness area, where it turns north, flowing along near the boundary of the wilderness area and the West Cascades National Scenic Byway (Highway 22).
A portion of the upper North Santiam River has been affected by the Lionshead fire, but even so, the North Santiam retains its wild and scenic characteristics.

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There are many things to see along the North Santiam. Towering Douglas-Fir and numerous other old and young trees, skilled kayackers and many birds, from the obvious osprey and their nests and the hard to find harlequin duck, all can occasionally be found along the North Santiam River.

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The North Santiam and its key tributaries have been included in Senator Wyden’s River Democracy Act of 2021, co-sponsored by Senator Merkley, and designating the North Santiam as a Wild and Scenic River. You can see why the North Santiam River was included here. You can find information on how to support the nomination here.

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