Bureau of Land Management National Park Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service


Less than 1/4 of 1% of our rivers are protected under the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System.

  • Westfield River, Massachusetts
  • Au Sable River, Michigan
  • Black River, Michigan
  • Crooked River, Oregon
  • Delta River, Alaska
  • John Day River, Oregon
  • Namekagon River, Wisconsin
  • Ontonagon River, Michigan
  • Rio Grande, New Mexico
  • Rio Icacos, Puerto Rico
  • Wekiva River (Rock Springs Run), Florida
  • Wolf Creek, Wyoming

Celebrating 50 years of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act

In 2018, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act turns 50. The Wild & Scenic Rivers Council and its partners—like American Rivers, American Whitewater, River Management Society and River Network—are thinking about the best way to celebrate this milestone.

To learn about this historic event, please visit our 50th Anniversary page, and look for Tim Palmer's new book, Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy.

And look for other events and activities on our 50th Anniversary Toolkit page.

National Wild and
Scenic Rivers Story Map

See a series of interactive maps showing management,
classification and river values.

View the Map

A National 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

About the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Mule Deer crossing the stream

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