Wild and Scenic Rivers Act 50th Anniversary

The official logo for the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

On October 2, 1968, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed into law. This law serves to protect some of the most special waterways in the United States of America - those free-flowing rivers and streams with "outstandingly remarkable values" that are enjoyed by Americans across the country. In 2018, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and other groups across the country are celebrating this Act and all it has done to protect and preserve these natural spaces.

 

 

 

 

What is the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act?

By the 1950s, decades of damming, development and diversion had taken their toll on our country's rivers. During the 1960s the country began to recognize the damage we were inflicting on wildlife, the landscape, our drinking water and our legacy. Recognition of this fact finally led to action by Congress to preserve the beauty and free-flowing nature of some of our most precious waterways.

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

Rivers in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System capture the essence of all waterways that surge, ramble, gush, wander and weave through our country. From the remote rivers of Alaska, Idaho and Oregon to rivers threading through the rural countryside of New Hampshire, Ohio and Massachusetts, each preserves a part of the American story and heritage.

As of December 2014 (the last designation), the National System protects 12,734 miles of 208 rivers in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; this is a little more than one-quarter of one percent of the nation's rivers.

(Courtesy www.rivers.gov - CLICK HERE to learn more)

 

A Forest Service sign declares the Lochsa River, pictured in the background, as a Wild&Scenic River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Wild & Scenic Lochsa River. Photo by Dave Gardner)

 

Wild and Scenic Rivers on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

There are 21 Wild & Scenic Rivers flowing through the state of Idaho, totaling over 820 miles. Of this, over 260 miles flow through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests in three different rivers - the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River (comprised of the Wild & Scenic Lochsa and Selway rivers), Salmon River, and Rapid River. In fact, the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River was one of the original eight rivers designated when the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was first signed into law in 1968!

Visitors come from all around the country to enjoy the Wild and Scenic Rivers on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Water sports and fishing are popular activities in these rivers, as are hiking and horseback riding along trails or taking scenic drives along motorized routes that parallel some of our iconic waterways.

 

50th Anniversary Events

The Wild and Scenic Rivers on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests give us plenty of reason to celebrate! Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will be attending several events this year to educate and engage with the public about Wild and Scenic Rivers. Check out the events below and see how you can join in and learn more about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act!

 

University of Montana Wilderness Issues Lecture Series
March 13, 2018
Missoula, MT
Co-presenting with the USFS Northern Region Office and the Flathead National Forest

 

Recreation Program Talk
April 3, 2018
University of Montana - Missoula, MT
Topic: Wild & Scenic Rivers and National Trails

 

University of Idaho Law School Panel Discussion
April 7, 2018
Moscow, ID
Panel discussion about the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The panel will be a celebration of the Act and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, including its legacy in north-central Idaho.

 

Idaho River Rendezvous
May 18–20, 2018
Stanley, ID

 

Lochsa Madness
May 26-27, 2018
Lowell, ID
A weekend of family-friendly events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, taking place concurrent with the annual Lochsa Madness whitewater rafting event.

 

Big Water Blow-Out
June 3-4, 2018
Riggins, ID
Public outreach and events TBA

 

Free Fishing Day
June 9, 2018
Fenn Pond - Lowell, ID
Join us for our annual Free Fishing Day at Fenn Pond for Wild and Scenic River anniversary events and information. Kids can paint their own rubber ducky and participate in the "harlequin duck" race!

 

2018 River Management Symposium - “Wild, Scenic, and Beyond”
October 22-25, 2018
Vancouver, WA

 

Rough water on the Wild and Scenic Salmon River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Wild & Scenic Salmon River. Photo by Jennifer Becar, USFS)

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The official logo for the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

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