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National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

In response to the alarming rate of damming, dredging, diking, diverting, and destruction of many rivers and free-flowing water sources in the 1960s, Congress created the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968). Human destruction and indifference toward the nation's system of rivers in the late 20th century was becoming a crisis and government intervention was deemed necessary to prevent further spoilage of natural river environments. However, the act does not designate rivers as national parks—it merely serves to protect their ecological and aesthetic integrity. The goal behind the national system is not to stop the progress of development of rivers but to defend their character and require that any or all development ensures the security of the free-flowing water.

When the National Wild and Scenic ...

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