The Wild and Scenic Act, established by Congress in 1968, states that rivers having “remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
Less than one quarter of 1 percent of United States rivers are protected under the act. We are calling for a grass roots movement to add Little River to the National Wild and Scenic River System.
Alabama has approximately 132,000 miles of river, of which only 61.4 miles of one river is designated as wild & scenic. That's less than 1/10th of 1% of the state's river miles.
The West Fork of the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River is located in the Bankhead National Forest is the ONLY Wild & Scenic River in Alabama.
Little River Waterkeeper® is working with the Alabama Rivers Alliance in order to nominate and designate parts of Little River as Wild & Scenic. We feel that creating the argument will be somewhat easy however, it will take an official act of the US Congress to make it a reality. Little River spans the Dekalb and Cherokee County borders along Lookout Mountain and is the perfect choice for the region’s next Wild and Scenic River.
Thousands of visitors each year come to Lookout Mountain because of Little River. It is home to many rare and endemic flora and fauna. Because of the growth that is projected to take place in our region over the next 35-40 years, there is not a better time than now to protect this Wild & Scenic worthy landscape.
Public land managers of Desoto State Park and the Little River NPS along with other stakeholder groups would be charged with protecting the river’s scenic and recreational values, through the Wild and Scenic Partnership Model.
Designation would not affect private property and would ensure that the experiences and economic benefits Little River provides today will be there for future generations. This effort requires enthusiastic local and regional support. Several stakeholders have sent us Letters of Support for the initial river study. These stakeholders are the City of Fort Payne, DeKalb County Commission, DeKalb County Tourist Association, Senator Andrew Jones, Senator Steve Livingston, Representative Ginny Shaver, The Native Fish Coalition, The Tennessee Aquarium, The University of Alabama's Center for Economic Development and more! Although this process is long and tedious, we are in it for the long haul.
Watch "Something About Little River" on Vimeo!
"Something About Little River,” a Southern Exposure Film and directed by Jeb Brackner won the “Best Nature Documentary Award” at the Georgia Documentary Film Festival in Fall 2019. The film is a celebration of Little River and the people who love it and want to see it protected for future generations.