Legacy Rivers

Pacific Rivers Council is embarking on an ambitious program to identify, build support for, and gain permanent protection for some of our nation's healthiest rivers and watersheds. We call these our Legacy Rivers because they are worthy of recognition, celebration, protection and restoration as part of our freshwater heritage.

Pacific Rivers Council is embarking on an ambitious program to identify, build support for, and gain permanent protection for some of our nation's healthiest rivers and watersheds. We call these our Legacy Rivers because they are worthy of recognition, celebration, protection, and restoration as part of our freshwater heritage.

Yellowstone at Emigrant Peak
Emigrant Peak from the Yellowstone River, Montana. Photo courtesy of Tim Palmer

Since no river in the lower 48 is truly pristine, our initial candidates are those we have qualitatively identified as the closest thing to it. These are rivers that still have a lot to lose. Their flanks are still forested, their native species still thrive, their watersheds still absorb the season's rain and snow, releasing it slowly when the weather is dry. They can continue to provide us with clean water, flood protection, thriving fish and wildlife populations, irreplaceable recreation, and spiritual solace, even in an era of rapid climate change.

Our selection process, though not inclusive of every healthy watershed, is based on the best available science. We've based it on ecological values, partnership opportunities, and its social and economic settings. Is stronger protection for this river needed to conserve its health and its species? Will we be able to reach that goal, given the citizen support base that surrounds this river?

Public support for naming Legacy Rivers is of the utmost importance. Please check out our Legacy Rivers and our Legacy River Candidates and the intrinsic values each holds. Give us feedback -- We need your support!

Just think - one day our freshwater heritage could be protected for generations to come. This nation has National Forests, National Parks, designated Wilderness and National Wildlife Refuges. There are no "National Watershed Refuges" - and there should be!

View our Legacy Rivers

Designated Legacy Rivers are those river basins where Pacific Rivers Council has initiated partnerships and is forging on-the-ground programs to direct and leverage restoration resources and achieve long-range protection.

View our Legacy River Candidates

Candidate Legacy Rivers are rivers with outstanding natural and human values that are also recognized to retain a high level of natural resilience. Restoration and conservation efforts in their watersheds and waterways are most likely to meet with lasting success in the face of future human use and climate change.

Oregon and California Legacy Rivers Map
Click on map above to view a larger map of our Legacy Rivers and Candidates in Oregon and Northern California.

 

 

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