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The conservation group American Rivers has released its 2013 list of the most endangered rivers in the United States.
The at-risk rivers are found around the country and are threatened by factors like poor water management and mining, according to the group. Here is the list of rivers from #10 to #1, along with the threats American Rivers has documented for each and why the rivers are important to their respective ecosystems.
Niobrara RiverSlide 2 of 21
Location: Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming
Threats: Sediment build-up and flooding
The Niobrara is a tributary of the Missouri River, and its lower reaches are designated as a federal Wild and Scenic River. American Rivers says that sediment backing up behind the Missouri's Gavins Point Dam is raising the level of the Niobrara and increasing the flood threat to local communities. The group calls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to better manage the sediment levels.Slide 3 of 21
Kootenai RiverSlide 4 of 21
Location: Montana, Idaho (and British Columbia in Canada)
Threats: Open-pit coal mining
The Kootenai is part of an important habitat for iconic American species like the grizzly bear and woodland caribou, as well as several rare and threatened species of fish, American Rivers says. The quality of the water and the species that depend on it are threatened by five open-pit coal mines along a tributary in British Columbia, according to the group, which calls on the U.S. State Department to work with Canada to halt the mining until impact studies can be done.Slide 5 of 21
Rough & Ready and Baldface CreeksSlide 6 of 21
Rough & Ready and Baldface Creeks
Threats: Nickel mining
These tributaries to the Illinois and North Fork Smith rivers run with particularly clean and clear water, American Rivers says. Member of Oregon's Congressional delegation have asked the Obama administration to keep the area from being used in nickel mining, but no action has yet been taken. The conservation group says that the health of the rivers is now in the hands of Congress and the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture.Slide 7 of 21
Black Warrior RiverSlide 8 of 21