Wild and Scenic Rivers
On October 2, 1968, President Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, sponsored by Senator Frank Church. The Act currently protects more than 200 rivers in 35 states and Puerto Rico. The Act’s legacy is one of protecting the special character of certain rivers, while recognizing the potential for use and development.
"It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Congress declares that the established national policy of dam and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital conservation purposes."
Below you will find information about the various Wild and Scenic Rivers that BLM manages, and online resources that provide more information about the program.
Partners in Protection - Volunteer Opportunities
The Bureau of Land Management has the responsibility to protect the unique values that have been identified for each river segment. Monitoring each river segment to ensure key values are protected is an ongoing task requiring input from a variety of BLM staff specialists. BLM cannot do this job alone and relies on a variety of partners to assist them in monitoring and restoration activities. If you are interested in volunteering to assist BLM in monitoring and protecting a BLM Wild and Scenic River, contact your nearest BLM office for details or by linking to the webpages for states or specific rivers below.
Map of Wild and Scenic Rivers
Summary of Mileage by State
Number of Rivers
Total BLM Administered WSRs
Detail Table - BLM Wild and Scenic Rivers (PDF) - Provides mileage per river.
Legislation and Management Policies
Wild and Scenic River Act - The Wild and Scenic River Act
43 CFR 8350 - Title 43 Chapter II - Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior - Part 8350 - Management Areas
BLM WSR Manual 8351 (200KB PDF) - Wild and Scenic Rivers - Policy and Program Direction for Identification, Evaluation and Management
Instruction Memorandum 1998-129 - Protective Management Policy and Guidance for Identified BLM Elibible RIver Segments Evaluated Pursuant to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
Instruction Memoranda 2004-196 - Clarification of Policy in BLM Manual Section 8351, Wild and Scenic Rivers, with Respect to Eligibility Criteria and Protective Management
Other Online Resources
National Wild and Scenic River System - Interagency website that provides details about wild and scenic rivers
BLM Floatable Rivers - Website that provides details on floatable rivers that BLM manages (Not a BLM Administered site)