The National Wild and Scenic River System spans more than 13,000 miles of the United States through landscapes as diverse as the rivers themselves.
Just last year, the system celebrated its 50th anniversary. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act into law with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. On signing the law, President Johnson said “an unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today,” adding that unless there were steps taken to protect them, healthy, free flowing rivers would become a thing of the past.
Since then, the system has grown to include rivers in 41 states and Puerto Rico. The USDA Forest Service manages more miles of these rivers than any other federal agency, including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Now, the United States Postal Service has released a new series of forever stamps commemorating the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. At the release event along the banks of the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon, U.S. Postal Service chief financial officer and executive vice president Joe Corbett said, “When Americans use the stamps, either to mail letters and packages or to add them to collections, they will be reminded of our cherished Wild and Scenic Rivers.”
The stamps feature photographs of 12 designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. Many of these rivers are managed in whole, or in part, by the Forest Service. Those rivers include the Flathead, the Merced and the Deschutes.
These designated rivers and others like them throughout the country provide a wide range of economic, ecological and other social values.
“Wild and Scenic Rivers are the backbones of many communities that rely on the visitors to fill hotels, visit shops and outfitters, and to hire guides,” Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa said at the release event. “We need to take responsibility for stewardship of these rivers in collaboration with partners, local communities and other stakeholders.”
June 1 through 9 is also National Fishing and Boating Week, a time to connect with the great outdoors by getting on the water to fish, boat and even scuba dive. Learn more about National Fishing and Boating Week and the many events being held to celebrate at TakeMeFishing.org.