The Nooksack River, a true Wild and Scenic River. Now let’s get her added to the map!


Nooksack River, WA | © Lindsay Taylor

Nooksack River, WA | © Lindsay Taylor

The Nooksack River is a shiny gem tucked away in the North Cascades near the Canadian border. The Nooksack River system is home to all five species of native Pacific salmon, steelhead, bull trout, bald eagles, black bears, mountain goats, and many other native fish and wildlife species that need intact, wild places to survive. The Nooksack is also the lifeblood for the local communities relying on the river for clean drinking and irrigation water and for tourism income from visitors drawn to the river’s world class whitewater boating, hiking, skiing, and other recreation opportunities.

Even though the upper Nooksack River system is mostly intact and free-flowing, an estimated 50 new dams have been proposed in this watershed since the 1970’s. This includes two dams as recent as 2010. Fortunately the dam proposals were found to be uneconomical and have not been built, yet. Designating the upper forks of Nooksack and key tributary streams as Wild and Scenic would permanently protect this marvelous river from any more threats of these dams.

A great deal of support for protecting the Nooksack currently exists; however, Wild and Scenic River legislation does not yet exist. We are hard at work to increase public and political support in order to make that a reality in the near future. Wouldn’t you love to see the Nooksack added to the new, interactive Wild and Scenic Rivers map American Rivers just launched? I sure would.

Explore our new interactive Wild & Scenic Rivers map.