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Wild & Scenic River Management

A kid jumping into the rogue river in oregon

Who manages Wild & Scenic Rivers?

Wild & scenic rivers can be designated by Congress or by the Secretary of the Interior at a state Governor’s request. Congressionally designated wild and scenic rivers are managed by the Department of Agriculture (Forest Service) or Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service). State agencies typically manage wild & scenic rivers designated by the Secretary, sometimes in concert with local governments. Rivers, however, do not follow neat property lines and stewardship is a responsibility shared by numerous government agencies, tribal nations, private landowners and river users. 

Cover for Wild and Scenic River systemHow many are there?

More than 200 rivers in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico comprise the National System. Nearly 13,000 river miles are protected, just over one-quarter of one percent of all the nation's rivers. There is great geographic diversity, from the remote rivers of Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon to rivers threading through the rural countryside of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Ohio. There is also great diversity in the type of these rivers, which range from cascading mountain streams to blackwater rivers in the Southeast. Each preserves a part of the American story and heritage.

Click here to download a PDF map of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System!



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