PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The U.S. House has approved protection for a stretch of the Molalla River in Clackamas County.

Local groups hope it will further the recovery of a stream degraded over the years by logging, illegal camping and partying.

The vote Thursday protects 21 miles of the Molalla under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The new protection follows a law enforcement crackdown the past two summers along the river. Supporters say their aim is to nurture economic development through tourism and family recreation along the river.

The measure passed handily, 292-133. Forty Republicans joined Democrats in favor.

The measure was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and the four other congressmen from Oregon supported it. The Senate is expected to consider it next year.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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