Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR)

River with fall colorful trees surrounding it












The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, establishes a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System for the protection of selected national rivers and their immediate environments, which possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values which are to be preserved in free-flowing condition.

WSR Process Overview

As part of Plan Revision, the Forest is required to complete this form of analysis as part of Plan Revision and show citation from the 2012 Planning Rule.

The WSR process has 3 steps: Classification, Eligibility, and Suitability and then Recommendation.

Man fly fishing on a riverClassification: Classify eligible rivers as wild, scenic, or recreational, based on the level of development of the shoreline and the watercourse, the level of access at the time the river is found eligible, and water quality.

Eligibility: Develop a comprehensive inventory of rivers to be studied for their potential eligibility, develop a systematic approach to identifying ORVs, and evaluate eligibility based on free-flowing characteristics and the presence of ORVs (Outstandingly Remarkable Values). A river is eligible if it is free-flowing and possesses one or more ORV. It can be permanent, perennial, or intermittent; there is no criterion for how much flow is necessary for a river to be considered eligible.

Suitability: Assess the eligible river’s potential for inclusion in the NWSRS (National Wild and Scenic Rivers System).

Recommendation: After doing the Classification, Eligibility, and Suitability we will make a Recommendation for that River of how it should be used or protected.

To view the most recent Eligibility Study Report published in April of 2018 click here

In 2007 and 2008, the Manti-La Sal National Forest conducted a Wild and Scenic Rivers Suitability Study. During that study, the Forest determined that no rivers on the Forest were suitable for a WSR designation. Click here to view the documents associated with that analysis.

The rivers that were analyzed during the 2007-2008 study will not be reanalyzed during Plan Revision. However, if rivers were missed during that analysis, the Forest is required to analyze them for WSR suitability during Plan Revision. A complete list of rivers in need of analysis, if any, will be released to the public once and if such rivers are identified.

Eight river segments were not identified during the 2007-2008 WSR effort; six are located in the North Zone of the Forest and two in the South Zone. These eight segments are currently being reviewed.

The locations of the eight river segments currently being reviewed are identified in the map below:

Map - WSR Segments

For more information about WSR analysis, click on the following links: