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Research runs through it: A fresh look at Wild and Scenic Rivers

Posted date: October 02, 2018
Publication Year: 
Authors: Watson, Alan E.; Thurow, Russ F.;
Document type: Other Documents


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which preserves selected rivers that have outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values. As the Forest Service and other agencies prepare for the next half-century of managing these national treasures, scientists at the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute are partnering with National Forests and university collaborators to use new research protocols to help revise river management plans. These social science approaches are helping managers quantify what river users value. Other scientists are utilizing designated rivers to study their relatively untouched environmental conditions. These efforts are especially important in light of modern river management issues that include rising public use, a warming climate, uncharacteristic fire, invasive species, and drastic population losses for keystone species such as chinook salmon.