There are four primary federal agencies charged with protecting and managing our wild and scenic rivers and our nation's cultural, recreational, and natural resources.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management manages public lands for a variety of uses such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use.  

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s primary responsibility is the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. They work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

U.S. Forest Service

The mission of U.S. Forest is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

National Park Service

Rock Springs Run

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers

Congress has specified that some designations are not just a Wild and Scenic River, but a Partnership Wild and Scenic River (PWSR), meaning that the river is managed collaboratively by the NPS and a local entity. With these PWSRs, communities protect and enhance their river and its resources through developing and implementing a management plan tailored to the communities and the rivers’ needs. LEARN MORE

NPS and State-Administered Wild and Scenic Rivers

Another method of designation is through a process outlined by Section 2(a)(ii) of the Wild and Scenic Act, which allows the Secretary of the Interior to designate a river if a state governor requests designation. With this, the river is then managed jointly by the NPS and the states’ equivalent Wild and Scenic Rivers program.


Agency Policies & Guidelines

Departments of the Interior and Agriculture Final Revised Guidelines for Eligibility, Classification & Management of River Areas

Bureau of Land Management Policy and Program Direction for Identification, Evaluation, Planning and Management of Wild & Scenic Rivers

National Park Service Director’s Order #46 and the Reference Manual #46 on Wild and Scenic Rivers


Management Plans

Under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, each river is required to have a Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) written to manage the outstanding river values, water quality, and free flow of the river. Not every river has a plan yet. We've collected a good many of the CRMPs, some of them decades old, which you can find under the specific river or through the Documents option in the menu below. If you cannot find a link to a management plan, either it doesn't exist yet, or we don't have it.

CRMPs Currently Under Development

Zigzag River, Oregon

Bautista Creek, California, U.S. Forest Service

Black Creek, Mississippi, U.S. Forest Service

Collawash River, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Cottonwood Creek, California, U.S. Forest Service

Eagle Creek (Mt. Hood National Forest), Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

East Fork Hood River, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Fifteenmile Creek, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Fish Creek, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Flathead River, Montana, U.S. Forest Service

Franklin Creek, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Fossil Creek, Arizona, U.S. Forest Service

Fuller Mill Creek, California, U.S. Forest Service

Middle Fork Hood River, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, Washington, U.S. Forest Service

North Fork San Jacinto River, California, U.S. Forest Service

Owens River Headwaters, California, U.S. Forest Service

Palm Canyon Creek, California, U.S. Forest Service

Piru Creek, California, U.S. Forest Service

Pratt River, Washington, U.S. Forest Service

Red River, Kentucky, U.S. Forest Service

South Fork Clackamas River, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

South Fork Roaring River, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Wasson Creek, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service

Zigzag River, Oregon, U.S. Forest Service



Additionally, the four managing agencies of WSRs often work with the following organizations to protect and enhance rivers across the country.

River Management Society (RMS)

The River Management Society (RMS) is the nation's premier network connecting those who work on and for rivers with their river professional peers, including outfitters and guides, rangers, planners and landscape architects, fluvial geomorphologists, environmental lawyers and policymakers, students, professors, researchers and authors.

Wild and Scenic Rivers Coalition

The mission of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Coalition is to protect and defend existing and potential Wild and Scenic Rivers and broaden the movement for their conservation by raising awareness about their value.

State Wild and Scenic River Programs

Some states have enacted legislation similar to the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, resulting in the creation of state scenic river programs. Rivers are typically designated into state programs in much the same way that rivers are added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Some rivers are both state and federally designated. These states have their own scenic rivers programs: