National Trails System and the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System

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Hi I’m Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior

You know, growing up in Glacier National Park in Montana, I’ve had the opportunity to hunt, fish, and hike on public lands and waters my whole life. As we approach the 50th year of the National Trails and Wild Scenic River Acts, we should reflect on a remarkable half century of connecting Americans to the outdoors while telling our nation’s greatest stories. 

From floating down the Flathead River to hiking along the Appalachian Trail I have a great appreciation for our greatest treasures. Looking at the next 50 years, we want to rebuild our trail systems and enhance river access. These are major economic drivers of recreation, and great examples of the kind of infrastructure improvements we plan to focus on. 

You know outdoor recreation is a part of our American heritage. As Secretary of the Interior, I’m looking forward to expanding our public access to public lands so we can all enjoy this great tradition in keeping with the American conservation ethic about best science, best practices, and greatest good for the longest term. As etched in the stone above the Teddy Roosevelt arch in Yellowstone, our trails and rivers are for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. 

Thanks for being a part of the celebration, and I’ll see you on the trailhead. God bless America.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. With stewards in the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service working with public and private partners across the country, our national rivers and trails provide outstanding opportunities for people to connect to the outdoors. Over the mountain or around the next bend in the river, generations are experiencing the best America has to offer.

This is a legacy everyone at Interior can be proud of. I hope you'll join me this year in celebrating our nation's untamed rivers and amazing trails.

Ryan Zinke
Secretary of the Interior