The Ivishak River in the North Slope of Alaska
© Don Paulson/Danita Delimon
A river on the tundra
This mesmerizing expanse captures a small stretch of the 95-mile-long Ivishak River in northern Alaska. The Ivishak flows in the Philip Smith Mountains and the foothills of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The entire run of the river is in a region called the North Slope Borough, Alaska's northernmost borough (Alaska is divided into boroughs, not counties). Look at the magnificent colors and textures this photo captures—it's a view that's preserved and protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
The act was signed into law on October 2, 1968. It declared that 'certain selected rivers of the [US] which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition…' Sure, we could have summed it up for you, but instead quoted the exact text from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to show how all-encompassing the intent of the protection is.