River Information

Look to RMS for information that serve your needs and interests as a river management professional, recreational enthusiast, river scientist or engineer, vendor of river services or equipment manufacturer!  

BLM River Database

This searchable database offers trip planning information boaters need for floatable/boatable sections of river for which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has management responsibilities. The database represents a collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management and American Whitewater (AW) to create a user-friendly interface for the BLM river database.  Each BLM-managed river section is linked to AW's comprehensive web database of boatable river sections in the US.  Boaters and floaters: we encourage  you to also check with the respective BLM office when planning a trip.


If you are planning a trip, this is a handy list of one-pager permit information sheets that are easy-to-download and print and updated annually.  For river managers and planners, the links provide an opportunity to conduct a quick comparison of the various permits in use by various agencies, in various regions.

Wild and Scenic Rivers

250+ Wild and Scenic (WSR) Rivers represent but a fraction of river miles in the United States, protected from further development and deserving of this special status because of acknowledged "outstandingly remarkable values."  However, their truly amazing qualities, their designation and the process by which they are evaluated offer helpful management advice for stakeholders of urban, suburban and developed rivers across the country. 

Better Boater Bathrooms

River runners, outfitters and river managers have maintained a place at the forefront of establishing best practices for packing out human waste for decades. RMS offers excellent references for trip planners who want to be sure to pack the approved tools and equipment,and for river staff who might want to compare requirements among or between agencies, states or watersheds. Visit Better Boater Bathrooms.

Hydropower  License and Settlement Summaries 

These summaries distill lengthy (150 - 200+ pages) license information into the key aspects of hydropower plant operations. Learn quickly and easily when the license was approved and its term, the process stakeholders and commitments in the license related to public use and enjoyment of rivers whose flow and access is affected by hydropower production at specific sites. Read on to see the Handy Hydropower Summaries completed thus far....

RMS and HRC have completed the summaries with support from the Arches Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, and Charles Mott Foundation.

National River Recreation and Stewardship Database

RMS continues to seek input as we develop a national resource for river information that can serve citizens and river professionals, a national resource for rivers that integrates information and linking to partner data and websites. The NPS National River Data Inventory and Database Plan prepared by the River Management Society and Downstream Strategies in 2012 and Notes from 2-14-2013 Database Vision Call describe a starting point.

In 2013 we developed the vision among interested river professionals using a multiple-phase survey model, thanks to the knowledge and expertise of RMS member Zachary Cole, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Learn about the study process and the final report.

2014: RMS intern Marina Metes and NPS's Susan Rosebrough worked with the US Geological Survey to develop a platform for 'layers' of river information. Susan also worked with Sera Janson Zegre to prepare a  portion of the BLM river database for use in the NRRD.

2015:  Marina developed a database of National Park Service Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the USDA Forest Service is gathering access information. University of Washington GIS Graduate Students are helping us confirm data donation process using external data from the GIS and river management staff at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Bridger-Teton National Forest. Michael Tinker has conducted two training about the process of creating and connecting donated river data to the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD): 1) Part I: a Hydrography Event Management (HEM) tool in-depth overview and 2) Part II: the workflow for adding river points and segments to the NRRD that are linked to the NHD.

Thanks go to the National Park Service, National Hydrography Dataset's Michael Tinker and Esri's Caitlin Scopel for their support of this important database development project!