Nooksack River, Washington
Flowing from the high snowfields and glaciers of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, and the Twin Sisters range in the North Cascades, the Nooksack River system is home to all five types of salmon, bald eagle, black bear, cougar, elk, and many other fish and wildlife species that need intact, wild places to survive. Whitewater rivers, incredible mountain views and old-growth forests provide world-class hiking, kayaking, and other recreation opportunities. Yet the majority of the Nooksack system remains unprotected.
In 1990, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) studied the Nooksack River for potential inclusion in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers system. The USFS determined that all three forks of the Nooksack, plus Wells Creek on the North Fork and Bell Creek on the South Fork were eligible for Wild and Scenic designation for their outstanding fisheries, wildlife, recreation, scenic and historical/cultural values. Glacier Creek, Clearwater and Warm Creeks, and Wanlick Creek are also worthy candidates for protection, but were not studied by the USFS in its 1990 review.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is the strongest tool available to permanently protect our remaining wild rivers. Wild and Scenic designation would forever protect the Nooksack’s free-flowing character and special values.