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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 350

40th Anniversary of Wild & Scenic River Act
October 2, 2008

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act turns “40” this month!  The Act was created on the recommendation of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, who proposed that the United States government act to protect our nation’s rivers with wild and scenic characteristics from development that would substantially change their pristine nature.   The Act was sponsored by Senator Frank Church of Idaho, and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 2, 1968.   The Act provides for selected rivers in the United States to be preserved for possessing “outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values.”   Rivers under this designation are preserved in their free-flowing condition and are not dammed or otherwise impeded.   A river or river section may be designated by the U.S. Congress or the Secretary of the Interior. 

As of 2006, a total of 165 rivers in the United States have been given wild and scenic status; of those, 38 are managed under the Bureau of Land Management's National Landscape Conservation System, including more than 2,050 river miles and 1,002,000 acres.  BLM-California manages six Wild & Scenic Rivers, covering 78 miles and 24,800 acres, including:

  • North Fork American
  • Eel
  • Klamath
  • Merced
  • Trinity
  • Tuolumne

More information on Wild and Scenic Rivers:

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

BLM-California Wild & Scenic Rivers

Map of BLM Wild & Scenic Rivers across the West 

BLM Wild & Scenic Rivers - national

National Wild & Scenic Rivers System

Wild and Scenic Rivers For Kids

- K. Minster Hoggan, 10/1/08

Return to BLM-California News.bytes, issue 351

Whitewater rafting on the American River

Last updated: 10-01-2008