Oregon maintains a distinctive place within the National System of Wild and Scenic Rivers.  Its world-class designated rivers flow through virtually every corner of its diverse geographic and cultural landscapes. From high desert to high alpine, coast to cave, Oregon leads the nation with the number of river segments granted wild and scenic river protection status. With 69 designations and 2,424 miles, the Oregon rivers represent over 30% of the national system and approximately 18% of its total river miles.

Oregon’s own lower Rogue River was one of the instant rivers designated under the Act. Each river added to the system possess its own outstanding characteristics and values, and Oregon rivers are no exception. Among this exemplary collection, other storied rivers including the Illinois, Snake, Deschutes, Willamette, and Owyhee, stand as giants among the rich legacy of Oregon’s conserved river heritage.

The rivers and streams of Oregon are the pride of the state and greatly contribute to its quality of life. Oregonians are deeply connected to rivers and value the rich economic, community, recreational, and ecosystem benefits that they provide.

Oregon has 110,994 miles of river, of which 2,424 miles—nearly 2%—are designated as wild and scenic.

To learn more about the history of how Oregon's rivers were protected, we invite you to read Tim Palmer's account on the Oregon Historical Society's web site.