The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System is a collection of exceptional rivers that have been designated to protect their free-flowing condition, water quality, and outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values for the enjoyment of present and future generations. 

The NPS Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR) Program provides support to NPS affiliated WSRs including rivers in park units, rivers managed in partnership with local agencies, and rivers managed by state agencies where NPS has a regulatory role. Its purpose is to protect and enhance river resources and meet other legislative requirements, improve internal and external communication and coordination, and educate NPS staff, stakeholders, and the public about the importance of WSRs. This work is often done through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Steering Committee which is a policy interpreting body who works to establish service-wide policies and guidelines. 

Two people kayaking on the Westfield River
What Are Wild and Scenic Rivers?

WSRs are special rivers that are set aside to protect their free-flowing condition, water quality, and outstandingly remarkable values.

Nps staff in canoe on Delaware River.
Law and Policy

The WSR system was created through the WSR Act. To support the mandates of the act, the NPS has developed policy to address WSRs.

fog over the Farmington River
What We Do

The NPS works with a multitude of partners and in a variety of ways to protect and enhance National Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Last updated: April 13, 2021