There are approximately 3.6 million miles of streams in the United States; 1.1 million are at least five miles in length. Only 12,734 miles are protected by the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.
Alabama has approximately 77,242 miles of river, of which 61.4 miles of one river are designated as wild & scenic—less than 1/10th of 1% of the state’s river miles.
The Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River was designated Wild & Scenic in the Fall of 1988. This year we celebrate 50 years of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and 30 years of protection of the Sipsey Fork.
But why protect it? The Sipsey is home to many threatened and endangered species including the flattened musk turtle and the now critically endangered Black Warrior waterdog. Every year, thousands of people come to the Sipsey to fish, hike, kayak and hunt. The Sipsey feeds Smith Lake which is a source of drinking water for many people. We also protect the Sipsey for its natural and intrinsic worth.
We want to hear your Sipsey Fork story! Stories punctuate our experiences in words. Stories remind us why we need a place to be protected and conserved.
Email your Sipsey Fork (some say river) story to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your story in the comments on our Facebook page. We will be sharing these stories all year through our network and beyond.