Wild rivers are the lifeblood of Idaho's pristine heart

From the white sand beaches of the Salmon to the cathedral forests of the Lochsa, Idaho's rivers are some of the most beautiful places in the country. To guarantee these awe-inspiring rivers and the valleys and canyons through which they course remain as special as they've always been, many are protected by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act or as State Protected Rivers. Idaho Rivers United supports and defends these important pieces of legislation.

Created by Congress in 1968, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves and protects rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition. The act prevents new dams or water projects, protects riverside lands and wildlife migration corridors, safeguards clean water, requires development of a comprehensive plan to manage the river, and prohibits activities that would diminish a river's unique values.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects more than 11,000 miles of 166 rivers in 38 states. Idaho is home to more than 1,000 miles of America's finest Wild and Scenic rivers, including four of the original eight protected in 1968 with passage of the act. There are many more that are still deserving  of protection.

From the famed canyons of the Middle Fork of the Salmon to the St. Joe in North Idaho, these rivers and their canyons provide habitat for wildlife and treasured recreational places for rafters, anglers, campers, cyclists and hikers.