Wild Nooksack Photography by Brett Baunton

Attaining a Wild & Scenic Nooksack River

The Nooksack River system is a unique wild treasure in the NW corner of Washington State.
Glaciers of the North Cascades and Mount Baker, Winter
All three forks of the Nooksack River originate from glaciers and snowfields in the wilderness areas of Mount Baker and North Cascades National Park. Its upper regions are free flowing through deeply carved valleys.
Glaciers on Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan and in North Cascades National Park feed the Nooksack River.
Winter snow creates recreational opportunities, beauty and flow in the Nooksack River.
Snow along the Nooksack River
The river carves through a deep temperate rain forest valley. Plant life and fungi are abundant in the riparian zone.


Verdant forests lining the shores high in the valley provide a healthy riparian ecosystem for fish and wildlife habitat.
Forest in the upper North Fork Nooksack River Valley
The Nooksack River provides serenity, inspiration and breathtaking scenery. It is a beautiful and bountiful fresh water resource in Whatcom County.
Free flowing Nooksack River
Aquamarine waters flow west from the North Cascades peaks and foothills to the Salish Sea.
Nooksack River's aquamarine waters
Nooksack River, Fall
Canoe Journey in the Salish Sea
The Coast Salish peoples of the Lummi and Nooksack Tribes are the first nations here. This is their traditional fishing and hunting grounds. They tell many ancient stories of the eagle and salmon. The Nooksack River and Salish Sea is very important to their spiritual and cultural heritage.
Coast Salish Lummi Tribe Canoe Journey 2007
The Nooksack River is a unique river system in the Pacific NW that supports all five species of native Pacific salmon, as well as steelhead, bull and cutthroat trout.
Native Pacific Pink - Humpy Salmon spawning in the Nooksack River

Native Pacific Pink Salmon spawning

Bald eagles, bears, beavers, cougars, mountain goats, elk and waterfowl are among the wildlife that depend on the Nooksack River habitat, and there are also the salmon.
A Bald Eagle feasts on Salmon in the Nooksack River


Wild & Scenic Nooksack River Proposal Map


The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

It is hereby 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 and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Congress declares that the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes.

There have been many hydro applications over the years that would threaten the river system and salmon. The goal is to keep the river wild and free flowing as it already is.

The Nooksack River has many outstanding qualities and should remain wild and free flowing, protected from dams or development in the riparian zone around its headwaters.

Nooksack Falls

Trails and recreational opportunities inspire exploration.
Trails in the Nooksack River Valley
Whitewater Rafting with Wild & Scenic River Tours
The Nooksack River weaves its way through valleys carrying its waters to the delta in Bellingham Bay.
Mt Baker, Nooksack River delta flowing into Bellingham Bay and the Salish Sea
Reflections on the Nooksack.
Wild & Scenic Rivers Act
The Wild and Scenic Rivers act is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary in 2018. One half century of protecting our greatest rivers is a success. Now is the time to work towards preserving the Nooksack River by seeking its designation as a Wild and Scenic River. Please help protect this unique river ecosystem.


You can help add the Nooksack River to the Wild and Scenic river system by signing the petition link below to support designating the upper Nooksack as a Wild and Scenic River.



Support and volunteer for organizations working towards protecting the Nooksack as a Wild and Scenic River.


Additional funding from Skipping Stone Foundation

© 2018 Brett Baunton ~~~~~ Wild Nooksack


Wild Nooksack


Brett Baunton

© 2018 Brett Baunton

Created By
Brett Baunton


©2017 Brett Baunton

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