Several notable birthdays were observed on October 2. In political and human rights circles, Mahatma Gandhi was remembered. In the music industry, Sting turned 67. TV host Kelly Ripa turned 48. Portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz celebrated her 69th birthday. And across the country, river enthusiasts commemorated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which was signed into law on that day 50 years ago.
Back in 1968, Congress passed this legislation to preserve river sections that have outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values, making sure that they would continue in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
These rivers are a select bunch: Out of about 3.6 million miles of U.S. streams and rivers in the United States, less than 13,000 miles of waterways, including sections of 495 named rivers and tributaries, are protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.