The future of wild rivers starts with you.

Your body is nearly 70 percent water and chances are, your drinking water comes from a river. So if you think about it, that means you have rivers flowing through your veins. Wild rivers have their own kind of magic. Maybe you have a favorite river, your own personal river story. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, it’s people like you who will determine the future of wild rivers in our country.

Celebrating 50 years of Wild and Scenic Rivers

On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, a landmark law to protect outstanding, free-flowing rivers nationwide. It created a system of permanently protected rivers with outstanding scenic, recreational, fish and wildlife, historic and cultural values. Like America’s national parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was the first of its kind in the world.

When American Rivers was formed in 1973, only eight rivers were protected in the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The founders of American Rivers dedicated the organization to saving our last wild rivers from new dams, and securing more Wild and Scenic designations to permanently protect free-flowing rivers.

Since then, thanks to your donations and the efforts of American Rivers and its partners, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System today safeguards more than 12,700 miles along parts of 208 rivers and 3,000,000 acres of riverside land in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Read more from author Tim Palmer about the importance of Wild and Scenic Rivers.

5,000 Miles of Wild

Together with our partners, we are working to protect 5,000 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers and one million acres of riverside lands nationwide. This includes rivers on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Montana’s most critical headwater streams in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Crown of the Continent, Colorado’s gorgeous Deep Creek, pristine streams in the forests of North Carolina, and many more spectacular rivers and streams across the country.

Thank you to 5,000 Miles of Wild partners American Whitewater, NRS, YETI, OARS, REI, Chums, Chacos, NiteIze, KEEN, Kokatat and Yakima.

Take Action Today

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, we must begin writing the next chapter for river protection in our country. What will that look like? It’s up to you.

Here are three ways you can make a difference for the wild rivers you love:

  • Sign the petition: Tell Congress to protect 5,000 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Share your story: We’re collecting 5,000 personal river stories to show decision makers broad and diverse support for river protection.
  • Donate: Your gift will power our efforts to protect wild, free-flowing rivers for communities nationwide.

Thank you for being a champion for wild rivers, and for ensuring our Wild and Scenic Rivers legacy lives on for generations to come.