OCTOBER 3, 2017 AT 2:45 PM EDT - WASHINGTON
- Today, federal agencies and non-profit river partners released the next video in the #FindYourWay series to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and National Trails System Act on October 2, 2018. #FindYourWay invites visitors from all backgrounds to explore America’s rivers and trails.
We’re inviting you to pick up your paddle or fishing rod to #MakeYourSplash on a river near you. Our National Wild and Scenic Rivers System has grown steadily since its creation and today protects rivers in 40 states and Puerto Rico.
The #FindYourWay, #MakeYourSplash video follows a family as they paddle, fish, and play in the Lower American Wild and Scenic River, where family time and outdoor time are one in the same. As the mother in the video says, “Being together as a family outside really helps us be closer together.” Rivers embody many values, intrinsic and tangible. Wild and Scenic Rivers provide water for fish and wildlife, preserve history and culture, create public recreation and economic prosperity, and maintain floodplains for communities.
Two pivotal laws, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails System Act, were signed in 1968, creating national systems of protected rivers and trails that brought public lands to the forefront of American consciousness. Our nation’s Wild and Scenic Rivers include rivers flowing through primitive, unspoiled landscapes with few people, to those meandering across rural landscapes, small towns, and near big cities.
“Clean, free-flowing rivers are an important national asset and the Forest Service takes great pride in managing them for the American people,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke. “This upcoming anniversary year for Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails is a unique opportunity for communities across the country to get outside, enjoy rivers and trails, and pitch in to help with their stewardship.”
The Forest Service manages nearly 5,000 miles of rivers designed as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, as well as over 14,500 additional miles of rivers and streams identified as potential candidates for future designation. And with over 158,000 miles of trail—the largest trail system in the country—national forests and grasslands offer abundant opportunities to access and explore public lands.
Free-flowing rivers create natural riparian areas that foster healthy, abundant, and diverse wildlife and are the centerpieces of rich ecological processes. Recreationally, free-flowing rivers offer unparalleled inspirational experiences from challenging whitewater to placid fishing. Through the arterial connections of rivers to communities, we all live downstream of a Wild and Scenic River.
More information on Wild and Scenic Rivers managed by the U.S. Forest Service can be found at the Wild and Scenic Rivers webpage.
About the 50th Anniversary Partners
The river and trail communities commemorating the 50th anniversary of their establishment include federal government and non-profit partners. Federal agency partners include the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Non-profit partners American Rivers, American Whitewater, River Management Society and River Network join the federal agencies to build community around rivers in 2018. Trails nonprofit partners include American Hiking Society, American Trails, the Partnership for the National Trails System, and the Rails to Trails Conservancy.