wild and scenic river

The John Day Wild and Scenic River is the longest undammed river in Oregon. Located in the eastern part of the state, the section from Service Creek to Tumwater Falls flows through a number of colorful canyons broad valleys and breathtaking terrain. It offers year-round recreation opportunities – from whitewater boating and camping to fishing and hunting, camping with snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands


Bavaria, Germany

The Owyhee River flows through the 1,000-foot deep “Grand Canyon” of Oregon. Named for a trio of Hawaiian trappers exploring the uncharted river, the word Owyhee is derived from an earlier version of “Hawaii.” Today this river is well-known by rafters for its remote beauty and technically challenging rapids. It’s also a protected Wild & Scenic River to ensure its millions of years of history and archaeological value will be preserved for future generations. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.


#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. 

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).

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


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.  


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.

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).

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


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!


#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!


Celebrating improvements to the Bruneau Canyon Overlook

Story by Heather Tiel-Nelson, Twin Falls District Public Affairs Specialist

In June 2017, 100 people drove 24 miles southeast of the small town of Bruneau to celebrate recent improvements to the Canyon Overlook site.  The overlook provides spectacular views of the Bruneau- Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness and the Bruneau Wild and Scenic River Area, and now boasts an ADA accessible pathway, restroom facilities, interpretation and an improved overlook site.  This Wilderness area represents a significant collaborative process that brought the Tribes, ranchers, BLM and environmental organizations together to protect its open spaces in what is known as the Owyhee Initiative. 

A notably remote and beautiful area with breathtaking vistas, it is an important area for the Shoshone- Paiute people, who honored those gathered with a drumming ceremony. According to Idaho State Director Tim Murphy, “We are proud of these improvements and the opportunity they provide to tell the story of the Owyhee Initiative, a truly collaborative effort without which we would not be standing here taking in the views of the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness.”

The improvements mark the completion of Phase One; Phase two will include additional ADA accessible trails and a second overlook site.

Click here to watch BLM Idaho’s video of the ribbon cutting.


#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!


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.