wild and scenic river

Today we’re celebrating our national bird, the bald eagle, for American Eagle Day. On June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was placed at the center of the Great Seal of the United States and remains a symbol of our proud country. After a dramatic recovery, bald eagles are found in every state but Hawaii, soaring high and inspiring the nation. Photo from the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).


#FindYourWay with Alex: an AmeriCorps intern with BLM California

Alex Studd-Sojka is an AmeriCorps intern with American Conservation Experience (ACE) working for the Bureau of Land Management in the California State Office. Over the next year, Alex will be exploring California’s many rivers in anticipation of 2018’s 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic River Act. 

Keep reading to hear Alex’s story and how she got this amazing opportunity to live in California and work on rivers with the BLM.

Keep reading

Space chess?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that some giants had set up this flatter space in the Selkirk Hills of northern Idaho for some complex game and removed the pieces after finishing their match. What we’re seeing is an area of agricultural forest divided into 400 metre squares, with some areas harvested and covered by a recent snowfall while the rest reveal the dark green crowns of trees of dense forests. The nearby Priest River was once used to carry logs, but is now protected from development, with a status officially entitledn as a “wild and scenic river”.


Image credit: NASA


Beacon Rock State Park, Washington

850 feet above the Columbia River Gorge during the worst air advisory since Mt. Saint Helens erupted in 1980. Smoke from five concurrent forest fires covered the Portland area in smoke so thick it resembled Silent Hill. 


June #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover: Top 15 Places to Stargaze on the #mypubliclandsroadtrip in BLM California

1. Amargosa Wild and Scenic River
2. Cadiz Dunes Wilderness
3. California Coastal National Monument
4. Carrizo Plain National Monument
5. Fort Ord National Monument
6. Kingston Range Wilderness
7. Little Black Sands Beach in King Range National Conservation Area
8. Lost Coast Trail at King Range National Conservation Area
9. North Maricopa Wilderness
10. Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area
11. Piper Mountains Wilderness
12. Point Arena-Stornetta in California Coastal National Monument
13. San Gorgonio Wilderness
14. Slinkard Wilderness
15. Whipple Mountains Wilderness

Thanks for following the June #conservationlands15 features on My Public Lands Tumblr, and our takeover of americasgreatoutdoors Instagram account (https://instagram.com/usinterior/). Stay tuned all week as the #mypubliclandsroadtrip visits these top 15 California spots for stargazing and much more.  

The Bruneau River in Idaho flows through a deep, wild and remote desert canyon and abuts several Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas. Forty miles of the Bruneau are designated as a wild and scenic river, offering challenging whitewater, evidence of thousands of years of Native American habitation and amazing geologic history. It also looks really cool. Photo by Bureau of Land Management - Idaho (@mypubliclands).


On This Day in 1980 President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act into Law 

With the signing of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the BLM became responsible for managing six Wild and Scenic Rivers, nine study rivers, one National Conservation Area, one National Recreation Area, and one National Scenic Highway. Enjoy these photos of the Delta Wild and Scenic River, Gulkana Wild and Scenic River, and Beaver Wild and Scenic River in celebration of Alaska’s vibrant waterways!

The North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River in Oregon is renowned for outstanding fishing and exhilarating whitewater challenges for all levels of rafters and kayakers. To catch a ride on rushing waters, visit during May, June, and early July. What’s more, the 79-mile-long North Umpqua Trail parallels the river, offering a variety of hiking and mountain biking options. Photo by Bob Wick, @mypubliclands


#mypubliclandsroadtrip Recap in BLM Idaho

On the Idaho leg of our summer roadtrip, we hiked a volcano, visited a ghost town, and drove a buggy around the St. Anthony Dunes.  And we explored stunning Idaho waterways - from lakes to wild and scenic rivers - known for world-class fishing and boating.  Click individual photos for name and photographer.

Check out all BLM Idaho photos on My Public Lands Flickr, and view the BLM Idaho storymap journal!

Take a step back in time and paddle through history along the Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River in Montana. You can camp in the same locations as the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition on your multi-day canoe expedition down the “Big Muddy.” The unique geology and harsh landscapes that were extensively described by Lewis and Clark are in a condition that has changed little since the passage of the expedition. Historic homesteads dot the river banks, and remnants of the steamboat era remain in inscriptions that were etched on the rock walls. Sunset photo by Bob Wicks, mypubliclands.

Our cherished wilderness has lost a good friend. Martin Litton has died. Along with keeping dams out of the Grand Canyon and mapping out Redwood National Park, he was critical in the creation of the Wilderness Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the Environmental Protection Act. That’s all. And if that weren’t enough he founded Grand Canyon Dories to ply our great Western Rivers. One of the highlights of my photography in the West was rowing down the Grand Canyon with Martin Litton. While he pulled the oars he told us tales of being a glider pilot in WWII and the battles over dams on Western rivers. We hit a few rocks, but I have the tales to tell of a great man who did great things. Anyone who has ever enjoyed one of our Western National Parks owes Litton a debt of gratitude. @natgeo @natgeocreative @natgeotravel #wilderness #nationalpark by natgeo


#mypubliclandsroadtrip heads out this week for extreme adventures on your public lands.  And there’s no better place to start that adventure than the wild and rugged landscapes of Alaska.  

Until recently, floating Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River through Alaska’s White Mountains National Recreation Area required either a pricey pickup flight by air taxi or a three-week commitment to float 360 miles all the way to the Yukon River and the Dalton Highway bridge (considered the country’s longest road-to-road river trip). The popularity of compact, light-weight packrafts has now added a third option – one that involves floating the most scenic part of the river and then hiking 30 to 50 miles back to the start through the heart of the 1-million-acre national recreation area. 

The float itself is relaxing and scenic, with mostly class I whitewater. The hike out, on the other hand, is not for the faint-hearted – you’ll need to find your own route over jagged limestone ridges, across soggy tundra, and through ice-cold streams, all while swatting mosquitoes and watching out for bears. Your reward is an unforgettable hike through some of Interior Alaska’s best scenery, a landscape that most people only see in much chillier and darker conditions via the BLM’s extensive network of winter trails and public use cabins. Visit in summer, and you’ll likely have the place all to yourself!

Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument in Montana remains largely unchanged in the nearly 200 years since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled through this area on their epic journey. What’s more, the first skeletal remains of dinosaurs ever discovered in North America were found right here. The monument offers natural beauty in a remote setting and plenty of opportunities to explore by hiking, fishing, or floating along the National Wild and Scenic River portion of the Missouri River. Photo by Bob Wick, @mypubliclands


The #mypubliclandsroadtrip celebrates Independence Day along the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska. The spectacular views and diversity of wildlife truly showcase America the Beautiful.

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!  #getoutdoors


This week #mypubliclandsroadtrip “Takes the Backroads” along scenic byways and highways. 

Our first stop – the Deschutes Wild and Scenic River in Oregon.

From the Oregon-Washington border past the whitewater rafting community of Maupin, the BLM manages dozens of camping sites, boat ramps and picnic areas along the Lower Deschutes. Also along the river is the 34-mile-long Lower Deschutes River Backcountry Byway. The nine-mile-long paved section ends at Sherars Falls, where Native Americans still fish for salmon using traditional platforms and nets. After that, the road is mostly gravel for another 25 miles to Macks Canyon pictured here.

Photos by Bob Wick, March 2016.

Follow all roadtrip stops this week in our Take the Backroads storymap.


Welcome to the November #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover, our 2015 monthly celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. Today’s takeover features beautiful locations where you can view a diversity of wildlife – from raptors to seals to caribou.  


The November #conservationlands15 Takeover Continues with Another Spot for Your Bucket List: Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska

The Gulkana is one of the few rivers in Alaska where you can enjoy a wilderness setting on a trip as short as three days.  The area offers outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities for waterfowl and bald eagles. Beavers are often visible along the shoreline where moose also come down to feed.  It is one of the most popular sportfishing rivers in Alaska, providing rich habitat for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, king salmon, red salmon, whitefish, longnose suckers, and lamprey.  A popular river for fisherman and boaters in the summer, this river has also played an important role in the lives of the Ahtna, providing access to subsistence resources throughout history and pre-history.  During winter months, the frozen Gulkana River was historically used as an important travel route from the Copper River to the Tangle Lakes and what is now known as the Denali Highway area. 

The Gulkana River Watershed drains approximately 2,140 square miles of South-central Alaska.  The river begins in the Alaska Range near Summit Lake and flows south into the Copper River, eventually draining into Prince William Sound.  Several hundred lakes and ponds are scattered throughout the spruce-dominated forest of the Gulkana River Watershed, providing abundant nesting areas for trumpeter swans and other waterfowl.

Note: The #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover is a 2015 monthly celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.