2019 55¢ Wild and Scenic Rivers
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 21, 2019
First Day City: Bend, OR
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 12
Quantity Printed: 60,000,000
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed several environmental conservation laws into effect. Among them was the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This act "declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they [...] shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations."
When the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was first passed, eight rivers were chosen as the first to be protected by it. They were the Clearwater, Eleven Point, Feather, Rio Grande, Rogue, St. Croix, Salmon, and Wolf Rivers. By 2019, over 200 rivers in 40 states and Puerto Rico were included in the system. The US Postal Service honored 12 of these rivers on postage stamps in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Today, various federal and state government agencies, plus private landowners and countless volunteers, work together to preserve all the wonderful qualities of America's rivers. Together, they ensure trash and pollutants stay far away from the water, as well as preventing man-made structures like dams from diverting natural river flow. Nebraska resident Brad Arrowsmith, who owns part of the land in the Niobrara National Scenic River, described the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act best when he declared, "Boundaries don't protect rivers, people do."