Wild and Scenic River Currents 2023

two canoes float down a calm stream with title "Wild and Scenic River Currents"

Katherine Sorrows


Welcome to the fifth edition of Wild and Scenic River Currents, an annual newsletter designed to share stories about National Park Service (NPS) wild and scenic rivers and the community of people working to protect and enhance them. We continue to be amazed by all the accomplishments on our Wild and Scenic rivers and we appreciate the many contributions to Wild and Scenic River Currents this year. Thank you for all that you do to keep our rivers clean, healthy, and free-flowing!

Susannah Erwin, Science Co-Lead, and Sharon Kim, Partnerships Co-lead (Acting), of the NPS WSR Program

A group of people wearing lifejackets and holding oars stand next to a river
National Park Service Wild and Scenic River Steering Committee at annual meeting in Big Bend National Park and Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.

NPS / Corita Waters

National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program Highlights

the milky way and stars over a boardwalk and a stream
Obed - Where Half the Park is After Dark

Obed Wild and Scenic River, a designated International Dark Sky Park, gives visitors the opportunity to connect with worlds beyond our own.

a swiftly moving river
Largest Dam Removal in U.S. Approved

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Surrender and removal of four dams on the Lower Klamath River.

two canoes float on a calm river
Wild and Scenic River Ambassadors

In Summer 2022, the SuAsCo Wild & Scenic River Stewardship Council employed two River Ambassadors to expand outreach and education.

two people wearing waders sample the water of a flowing river
Rivers Join Dragonfly Mercury Project

The Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers joined several other NPS WSRs in the Dragonfly Mercury Project in 2022.

a calm river in early fall
Celebrating New Designations

The Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers System has two new Northeast designations, the Housatonic River and the York River.

a river with orange rusty water
Rusting Rivers

Over the past few years, scientists have observed a new phenomenon related to thawing soils in Alaska's Arctic - vibrant orange streams.

People and Resources

At the heart of preserving and protecting our wild and scenic rivers are the people who make it possible. Meet some new faces and celebrate some recent accomplishments of the Wild and Scenic Rivers community.

a group of around 30 smiling people of varying ages pose for a photo in the forest
National Park Service Partnership Rivers Meeting in Wekiva Wild and Scenic River

Jackie Dias

Welcome to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Community!

a smiling woman with long straight blonde hair wearing a national park service uniform and hat
Susan Cook - Superintendent Niobrara National Scenic River


Susan Cook

Superintendent - Niobrara National Scenic River

A 32-year veteran of the NPS, Susan Cook has a wide range of experience, much of it gained during her 28 years at Homestead National Historical Park. She began her career as an administrative assistant and advanced to serve as a senior leader for the park managing the interpretation and resource operations. She has also taken a leadership role of the Regional Interpretation, Education and Volunteers Council. She transferred to Niobrara National Scenic River three years ago as the program manager for Interpretation, Education and Volunteers and has continued to grow the park’s programming and outreach.

Cook earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska, and a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from Doane University in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Cook enjoys spending time outdoors (preferably near water), photography, hiking with her dogs and husband, and spending time with family and friends. Cook and her husband have three sons who are all now on their own with the youngest in college.

Congratulations to Jim MacCartney!

a smiling man wearing a life jacket paddles a canoe on a river
Jim MacCartney


On December 8th our colleague Jim MacCartney received the Jackie Diedrich Wild and Scenic Rivers Leadership Award presented by the Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council during the virtual US Forest Service National Wild and Scenic River Awards Ceremony. The award recognizes wild and scenic river administering staff who have shown outstanding leadership — going above and beyond in their assigned duties to help their agencies protect and manage these wild and scenic rivers, build capacity for river stewardship, and/ or develop exemplary training programs for professionals tied to these specially designated rivers.

Read more about Jim's meaningful work here!

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding a specific Wild and Scenic River project or want more information on Wild and Scenic Rivers please contact us.

Last updated: March 1, 2023