Wild & Scenic Rivers

The National Wild & Scenic Rivers (WSR) System was created by Congress in 1968 to preserve rivers that contain outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing system, and are for the enjoyment of present and future generations. 

For a river to be eligible for WSR designation, it must be free flowing, and possess one or more outstandingly remarkable values. Outstanding remarkable values include: scenery, recreation, fish, historic and cultural, geography, and other values. Further information on the process of selecting National Wild & Scenic Rivers can be found in Chapter 80 of the Land Management Handbook.

 Tonto NF has identified 22 possibly eligible segments from the 2,500 miles of named streams on the Tonto National Forest. These segments are ones in which the segment was free flowing and a unique value was identified. Each possibly eligible segments was assigned a preliminary classification of wild, scenic, or recreational. 

A note about the potentially eligible segments from the 1993 Wild & Scenic Rivers Study:
When starting this process the Tonto NF thought the potentially eligible segments from 1993 had been evaluated within a region of comparison, but after digging into the study further we realized this was not the case and the study could not be utilized. Therefore, the potentially eligible segments from the 1993 study were evaluated along with all other named streams during this process. In this evaluation some of the potentially eligible segments in the 1993 study were not found to have outstandingly remarkable values in the region of comparison, or they had changed circumstances.

Photo Credits: Tim Palmer

For more information on the Wild & Scenic River process visit our WSR Story Map or check out the WSR Presentation presented at the Wild & Scenic Rivers Educational Forums in June 2016. 

The maps from the Wild & Scenic Rivers Educational Forums are availablhere