What is a Wild and Scenic River?
Wild and Scenic Rivers are streams with exceptional river-related values. The stream segment may include one or more natural, recreational, cultural, wildlife, aquatic, archaeologic, paleontologic, historic or hydrologic values. Across the United States, there are 12,600 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, with lengths ranging from less than one-half mile to 390 miles.
Why do Wild and Scenic Rivers exist?
Wild and Scenic Rivers are designated by the U.S. Congress or the Secretary of the Interior to protect the free-flowing nature of certain rivers and to protect the values associated with those rivers for present and future generations. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed with the intention of balancing the national policy of building dams on certain rivers with the protection of other rivers in free-flowing condition to promote national conservation purposes.
What Wild and Scenic Rivers are in Colorado?
The only designated Wild and Scenic River in Colorado is the Cache La Poudre River, which is managed by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. However, there are many miles of streams on BLM lands within Colorado that have been officially determined to be candidates for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system. Until Congress acts upon these determinations, the BLM manages these rivers to maintain and enhance their river-related values. Please click on the links to the left to see streams on BLM lands in Colorado that are candidates for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
BLM Colorado State Office | (303) 239-3600 | 2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO 80215
National Conservation Lands Program Lead | (303) 239-3752