50 Years Of Wild And Scenic Rivers, But Still Only One In CO

Oct 1, 2018

The Crystal River flows at low levels near Carbondale. The river is one of several in the area that are eligible for Wild and Scenic designation.
Credit Courtesy of Christy Rose

Only one river in Colorado is designated Wild and Scenic, the nation’s highest protection for rivers. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which ensures that designated rivers remain free-flowing, celebrates 50 years today.



The national advocacy group American Rivers helps with that mission. Last week, Elizabeth Stewart-Severy spoke with president Bob Irvin about the challenges of protecting wild rivers.


Irvin said two area rivers have the local support that is a key first step in conservation efforts.


“Now there is growing grassroots sentiment to look at designating Deep Creek and Crystal River as Wild and Scenic as well,” he said.

Irvin and his board of directors were in the Roaring Fork Valley last week, touring Colorado’s rivers and discussing ways to improve river health.