The rivers of America flow from mountains, forests, and grasslands with astonishing beauty, essential to all life. Many of the best of these streams have been safeguarded under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968--America's premier program for the protection of our finest natural waterways. Wild and Scenic Rivers celebrates this creative conservation initiative with 160 stunning photographs and a lively history involving citizen activists, scientists, dedicated public officials, and enlightened political leaders. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, award-winning author and photographer Tim Palmer illuminates the values of this irreplaceable system of free-flowing streams, probes its problems, and addresses its future. With a depth of experience dating almost to the inception of the wild and scenic rivers program, Palmer has captured the splendor and essence of our most extraordinary rivers with his camera, and he has told their remarkable story as no one else could do.