WASHINGTON — The Wild and Scenic River Act of 1968 established a system of free-flowing rivers and streams in the U.S. Today, this system accounts for 12,700 miles of America’s rivers and streams in 40 states, and Puerto Rico. Rivers are protected for a number of outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values so they may be protected for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Forest Service manages nearly 5,000 miles of these rivers—the most miles of managed rivers and streams among land management agencies responsible for the wild and scenic rivers system. While the system has grown substantially over the last five decades, it accounts for less than half of one percent of rivers in the nation.
The Wild and Scenic River Act turns 50 this year, and many forests, partners and communities are celebrating the Act that protected these rivers, their unique character, and the impact they have had on the American people.
The International Journal of Wilderness joined in the celebrations by releasing a special issue that focuses on wild and scenic rivers system and the 50th anniversary of the Act. It features articles from guest authors from the Forest Service.
Authors include Steve Chesterton, Program Manager for Wild & Scenic Rivers, and Alan Watson, Research Social Scientist with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, and others.
To read the special issue of the International Journal of Wilderness, visit their website.