Allagash Wilderness Waterway

Rollin Thurlow

member since 1980
The Allagash River in Maine has been classifed as a "Wild" river under the federal Wild and scenic Rivers Act for the last 40 years. The state of Maine, in 1968, developed the Allagash Wilderness Waterway with the mission "to Develope the wilderness character of the Allagash Waterway"

The State has slowly degraded and ignored the wilderness character of the river to make it easier for day users and for moterized access into what use to be remote locations. The state was sued because it was not managing the river according to its federal "Wild" river classification. That suit was lost because the court said the state still owed the river and they can manage it how they wanted. the federal governments only recourse would be to remove its "Wild" rivers classification. This has never happened in the 50 year history of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act but is now being considered.

There is a new state Allagash Advisory Board who is making up a new mission of the Waterway. They are certainly being pressured to open the Waterway up for more access, more motorized use, less wilderness and less control of the commercial cutting around the river. You can learn more about the issues at the Allagash Alliance website,

It could really help if you could contact the Allagash Advisory Board and let them know that you want to see the Allagash Rivers wilderness improved and enhanced. That wilderness is important to you and that the state needs to live up to its obigations according to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Messages to the Board can be sent to []. Its not a real easy email address to remember but its the most direct method.