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.


National Conservation Lands
Upper Missouri River 
The Act provides three levels of protection: wild, scenic, and recreational. “Wild” rivers are free of dams, generally inaccessible except by trail, and represent vestiges of primitive America. “Scenic” rivers are free of dams, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads. “Recreational” rivers are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have been dammed in the past. 

The Bureau of Land Management has the responsibility of managing 69 Wild and Scenic rivers in 7 states including more than 2,400 river miles and approximately 1,165,000 acres (19% of the national system). The Bureau’s National Conservation Lands provide national level management and policy guidance for these rivers and represents the Bureau on the Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council.

Learn more about these rivers by viewing them by state below or the online resources at the bottom of the page!


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.

Rivers by State

Alaska          California          Idaho          Montana          New Mexico          Oregon          Utah

Alaska

(State Page)

 

 

 

 

South Fork of the Fortymile River

                       

  

Beaver Creek  Fortymile
Birch Creek Gulkana
DeltaUnalakleet

California

(State Page) 

 

 South Fork of the Eel River - Photo by Bob Wick

 

 

 

 AmargosaNorth Fork American
 Cottonwood Creek

Merced

 Eel

Trinity

 Klamath (also in OR)Tuolumne

 

 

 

 Idaho

(State Page)

 Jarbidge River

 

 
 Battle CreekJarbridge River
 Big Jacks CreekLittle Jacks Creek
 BruneauNorth Fork Owyhee
 Bruneau West ForkOwyhee
 Cottonwood CreekRed Canyon
 Deep Creek

Sheep Creek

 Dickshooter Creek

South Fork Owyhee

 Duncan Creek

Wickahoney Creek

       

Montana

(State Page)

 Lewis and Clark Reinactment on the Upper Missouri River

 Upper Missouri River

New Mexico

(State Page)

 

Rio Chama

 

 
Rio ChamaRio Grande

Oregon

(State Page)

 

Rogue River

 ClackamasNorth Umpqua
 Donner und BlitzenOwyhee
 Elkhorn CreekPowder
 Fish CreekQuartzville Creek
 Grande RondeRogue
 Klamath (also in CA)Salmon
 Kiger CreekSandy
 Little Wildhorse CreekSouth Fork Clackamas
 Lower DeschutesSouth Fork John Day
 Main Stem John DayWallowa
 Middle CrookedWest Little Owyhee
 Middle Dechutes

White

 North Fork CrookedWildhorse Creek
 North Fork Owyhee 

 Utah

(State Page)

 

 

 Beartrap CanyonNorth Fork Virgin River
 Deep CreekOak Creek
 Goose CreekShunes Creek
 Kolob CreekSmith Creek
 LaVerkin Creek

Willis Creek

 Middle Fork Taylor Creek 


Electronic/Online Resources

Map of Wild and Scenic Rivers

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 6400 (720KB PDF) - Wild and Scenic Rivers - Policy and Program Direction for Identification, Evaluation, Planning, and 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)


Trinity River