The Owens River and the Sierra Nevada near Bishop, California
© Interfoto/Danita Delimon
A wild and scenic scene
Some of our nation's most treasured rivers are protected thanks to a program that was first established on this day in 1968. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act aims to preserve rivers with 'outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.' That's something we can get behind.
This national system now protects more than 13,000 miles of 226 rivers. They flow through 41 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, from Idaho's Salmon River to the Missouri River in the Midwest to the Allagash River in Maine. Today's homepage visits the Owens River, near the Sierra Nevada in eastern California. About 19 miles of the Owens River headwaters were protected as a Wild and Scenic River in 2009, ensuring we'll see views like this for years to come.