In Drinking Water, Funding, Public Outreach, River and Water Organizations, River Flows, River Restoration and Protection

Wild and Scenic Rivers Stewardship Partnership Funding Awards 2020

For the second year, River Network is working with the US Forest Service (USFS) to provide local organizations with funding for their work to steward our many, diverse Wild and Scenic Rivers. These rivers flow throughout the country and help protect some of the nation’s free flowing rivers, providing opportunities for recreation, protecting drinking water, and helping fuel local economies.

Wild and Scenic Red River Fest, 2018 – photo by Pete McDermott

Steve Chesterton, USFS Acting Director, Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers says, “it’s exciting to be able to continue this partnership between River Network and the Forest Service for a second year, building on the interest and momentum generated during the first year. Local partnerships are critical to Wild and Scenic Rivers stewardship, and the proposals submitted this year reflect some of the outstanding collaborative ideas being discussed and implemented around the country.”

We invited a wide range of stewardship projects, ranging from river cleanups to invasive species management to improving river access, with an eye toward projects that could be adjusted as needed to be safe during COVID-19. It’s great to see these projects continue through the pandemic in creative ways, providing ideas for how to move forward and continue stewarding the country’s many spectacular rivers during this time.

To qualify, projects had to take a shared stewardship approach on rivers administered by USFS. Review criteria included:

  • What will be accomplished and how does this further the values of Wild and Scenic Rivers?
  • Support from the District Ranger or Forest Supervisor.
  • How does the project reach communities new to Wild and Scenic Rivers?
  • Does the project provide benefits to both rivers and people?

There were many more strong applications than we could fund reflecting the amazing work of our partners across the country.

We’re excited to announce the following award recipients and a snapshot of their projects:

Red River, photo by Donnie Lawson

  • Flathead Rivers Alliance is developing a strategy to coordinate volunteers, agencies, and local groups to better implement stewardship work that directly benefits the three forks of the Flathead River in Montana.
  • Friends of the Inyo will be combining trail work, volunteer engagement, and virtual interpretation as part of their Trail Ambassador program in California’s Owens River headwaters.
  • Glacier Peak Institute is introducing and connecting kids from rural and mostly low-income backgrounds in Darrington, WA, to the Sauk and Skagit Rivers though STEM education and time on the river.
  • Idaho Rivers United, in partnership with the Salmon-Challis National Forest, is developing an online learning program to provide river guides of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with tools and resources to engage and educate a diverse audience on Wild and Scenic River values.
  • Kentucky Waterways Alliance is working to protect, enhance, and celebrate Kentucky’s Red River through streambank restoration, environmental education programs, and cleanups for river health and enjoyment of more people.
  • Wild South, is cleaning up trash at visitor-use hotspots on the Sipsey Fork of Alabama’s Black Warrior River, and producing a video about river protection and history.

River Network gives a shout to all of our applicants as well as USFS for their support, and to American Whitewater for participating on our review team.

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