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Where Everything Grows

See what the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves

Over 50 years, the landmark law has protected more than 13,000 miles of American waterways.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act — a historic decision to preserve rivers of special recreational, scenic and cultural value. Through this law, over 13,000 miles of rivers and streams have been protected. In Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy, author and photographer Tim Palmer makes the case for protecting yet more sections of the nation’s approximately 2.9 million miles of natural waterways.

Palmer’s photography and prose provide a timely look at rivers and ecosystems that have been preserved over the years, reminding readers of what can be accomplished when a country makes a shared commitment to protect its natural heritage. Former President Jimmy Carter, who was involved in the program’s creation, lauds Palmer’s book as a great contribution to America. He writes, “I’m grateful that the legacy of all who have worked to protect these rivers will be known and appreciated.”

Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy
By Tim Palmer.
256 pages, hardcover: $45
Oregon State University Press, 2017.