Water

Safeguarding Idaho’s rivers, lakes and streams now and for the future.

Hot Topic: Wild and Scenic Rivers Act 50th Anniversary

The federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves certain rivers with “outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.” Idaho played a significant role in 1968 passage of the act. Idaho’s very own Senator Frank Church conceived of and sponsored the act, and it’s fitting that the wilderness surrounding the Middle Fork Salmon River (one of the originally designated rivers) is now named in Sen. Church’s honor.

Less than one quarter of 1% of river miles in the U.S. are designated as wild and scenic, but the 12,374 miles that have been designated are some of the most beautiful and valued rivers on earth. Idaho is fortunate to boast almost 1,000 miles of those designated river miles, distributed among 22 rivers around the state. And we hope to increase the number of designated Idaho river miles in the years to come!

This year, ICL worked hard to ensure passage of a legislative resolution acknowledging the importance of these rivers to Idaho and beyond, and we’ll continue to celebrate Idaho’s wild and scenic river bounty the entire year. Keep your eyes peeled to ICL’s Adventures & Events webpage for celebrations as the year unfolds.

Idaho Water: Rivers, Lakes, Groundwater

Idaho is the river state for good reason. That’s why ICL has a robust water program. We work to make sure our rivers are flowing—which is a lot of work in a state with historic policies saying water left in rivers is waste. We also work to make sure our rivers are clean enough for people and fish to thrive. But that’s just our rivers! ICL also works to protect our groundwater, as that’s where the majority of Idahoans get their drinking water. To accomplish our goals, we use a variety of tools including—but not limited to—reviewing every Clean Water Act permit and every new water right application in Idaho. Did we mention that we have a robust water program?

More Ways ICL Protects Water

We are working hard to protect Idaho waters throughout the state.

ICL Successes

Read about how ICL set the bar for keeping mercury out of rivers and lakes, successfully advocated for wild and scenic rivers, and our many other accomplishments.

What You Can Do

Become a member today and protect the Idaho lakes and streams that you love!