Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting Wild and Scenic Rivers in 2018

posted January 9, 2018
by Evan Stafford

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The 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act marks an incredible opportunity to build positive awareness, support, and activism around the need to grow our one-of-a-kind system of protecting outstanding rivers. American Whitewater will be working to protect 5000 new miles of rivers and streams in 2018 by securing new Wild and Scenic designations via Congress, as well as new protections through National Forest and Bureau of Land Managment planning efforts.
 
Designating 100 New Wild and Scenic Rivers
 
American Whitewater is the co-architect of several Wild and Scenic River bills that are before Congress or in the works that would protect some of our nation’s most spectacular headwaters. American Whitewater will be engaging river enthusiasts to apply steady pressure on Congress to introduce and pass these bills in the coming two years through modern grassroots organizing. You can find a number of ways to take action on upcoming Wild and Scenic legislation in our latest action menu.
 
 
Winning New Agency Protections
 
National Forests and Bureau of Land Management units are updating management plans that provide protection for rivers they deem eligible for Wild and Scenic Designation. American Whitewater has a proven track record of growing the roster of eligible streams through engaging the paddling community in these planning efforts. Look for our action alerts throughout the year to tell these land agencies about the Wild and Scenic values of our favorite whitewater rivers. 
 
Building the Constituency
 
As an organization of enthusiasts who enjoy the recreational opportunities our wild rivers offer, we will undertake a focused effort with organizational, corporate, and agency partners to build the base of support for rivers for the purpose of achieving conservation outcomes. We will accomplish this through films, events on rivers, story mapping, and social media. Follow our campaign efforts at #5000MilesOfWild.
 
Growing Capacity for Stewardship and Management
 
Rivers need active stewardship and management to protect resource values and provide a high quality recreational experience. We will work to ensure robust federal funding and leverage creative partnership opportunities to achieve our goals. 
 
Paddle a Wild and Scenic River This Year!
 
We encourage everyone to experience a Wild and Scenic river for themselves this year, or take it one-step further and introduce a friend to the incredible experience of paddling a free-flowing river protected for its incredible natural, cultural and/or recreational values. How about total immerrsion for multiple days on a Wild and Scenic River? Check out our latest article on applying for a Wild and Scenic River multi-day permit. However you do it, we encourage you to help protect more rivers and enjoy a Wild and Scenic River this year!