The Flathead Beacon describes a number of events that are planned to observe the 50th anniversary of Wild and Scenic Rivers Act . . .
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and a raft of events and activities are slated to launch this month to observe the milestone of a landmark decision that helped furnish protections on a suite of Montana waterways — the three forks of the Flathead River and the White Cliffs stretch of the Missouri.
Organized in part by Glacier Guides and Glacier Raft Company, which operates near West Glacier, the suite of events to observe the historic Act are well suited for the Flathead River system, where the idea for the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was born as a way to safeguard certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing state for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Middle Fork Flathead River originates in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and flows 98 miles to its confluence with the North Fork Flathead River near Columbia Falls. In the 1950s, famed wildlife biologist John Craighead was fighting the proposed Spruce Park Dam, which would have backed the river up 11 miles, writing that wild rivers were a “species close to extinction” and were needed “for recreation and education of future generations.”