The Purpose of the Niobrara National Scenic River
is to preserve its free-flowing condition, the significant scenic, geologic, biological, historic, and prehistoric resources of the Niobrara River Valley in concert with local custom and culture, and provide opportunities for resources-based recreational use that is compatible with protection of the significant resources.
Protected rivers in the United States can be classified as:
- Wild River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America.
- Scenic River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.
Recreational River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.
To be a National Wild & Scenic River, the Niobrara National Scenic River must be:
In addition, the Niobrara River has site-specific outstanding remarkable values--features that make the river unique or special at a regional and national scale.