Less than 1/4 of 1% of our rivers are protected under the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System.
In the past 50 years, we have learned—all too slowly, I think—to prize and protect God's precious gifts. Because we have, our own children and grandchildren will come to know and come to love the great forests and the wild rivers that we have protected and left to them . . . An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries. It makes us all very fearful that all rivers will go this way unless somebody acts now to try to balance our river development.
– President Lyndon Johnson on signing the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968.
[Note: This is an historical citation, not an endorsement of religion. These are the historic remarks made by a U.S. President.] + FIND OUT MORE
The country changed in the 1960s, including our treatment of the environment, leading to the Wilderness, Clean Air, Clean Water and National Environmental Policy Acts – and the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. + FIND OUT MORE
In order of slides: Owyhee River, Bureau of Land Management; Old North Bridge Concord River, Jeanette Runyon; Alligator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Bruneau River, Kevin Lewis; Trinity River, Bureau of Land Management; Beaver, Pat Gaines; Snake River Headwaters, U.S. Forest Service; Wilson Creek, Dan Royall; Rogue River, American Rivers; Kern River, John Ellis/American Rivers; Grizzly Bear, Judi Len; Upper Missouri River, Bureau of Land Management. Mule Deer, Chuck & Grace Bartlett.