The Skagit River will be featured in the U.S. Postal Service’s “Forever” stamp program thanks to its national recognition as a waterway that has wild and scenic values.
The Postal Service announced Nov. 20 the Forever stamp lineup for 2019.
The Skagit River will be one of 12 rivers included in a stamp book showcasing river segments with designations under the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
“Clearly Skagit belongs in that group of rivers to celebrate around the country,” Skagit Watershed Council Executive Director Richard Brocksmith said. “There’s no other single river anywhere in Washington, maybe even the country, that exceeds all superlatives for its unique beauty, fisheries resources, recreational values, natural free-flowing condition and local contributions to our economy such as Skagit’s agriculture.”
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed in 1968 to recognize and protect free-flowing waterways throughout the country.
Brocksmith said the Skagit River was the first in the state to receive the Wild and Scenic designation, in 1978.
There are now six rivers and streams in the state with the designation.
The Skagit River’s Wild and Scenic designation includes 100 miles of waterway including the river from Sedro-Woolley to Bacon Creek between Marblemount and Newhalem. Parts of the Cascade, Suiattle and Sauk rivers — which flow into the Skagit River — are also included in that designation.
Illabot Creek near Rockport also has its own Wild and Scenic designation, which it received in 2014.
Other rivers featured in the 2019 stamp lineup include a section of the Snake River in Idaho and Oregon, as well as rivers in Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
The Skagit River stamp features a photo taken by Tim Palmer, a landscape photographer who specializes in photographing rivers.
Palmer said he took the photo featured on the stamp during a canoe trip from Newhalem to La Conner in the fall of 2017.
In the photo, white-capped Mount Baker towers over the river. Palmer said it was a shot he took special care to get.
“The view of Mount Baker is seen for only a very short window, perhaps a quarter-mile long,” he said. “It’s an awesome view. Really, it’s one of the best mountain views from any river in America. Short but sweet.”
Palmer is one of three photographers whose work is featured in the series. Palmer’s photos of the Snake River, Flathead River and Ontonagon River were also selected for the stamp collection.
The Forever stamp program has celebrated people, events and culture of the U.S. since 1847, according to a news release.
This year, the series of Wild and Scenic rivers is included along with a series of cactus flowers found throughout the country and stamps dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the state of Alabama, the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, America’s last battleship the USS Missouri, and influential figures including musician Marvin Gaye.
“The miniature works of art illustrated in the 2019 stamp program offer something for everyone’s interest about American history and culture,” Postal Service Stamp Services Executive Director Mary-Anne Penner said in the release.
Brocksmith said he’s glad to see the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Skagit River be highlighted by the stamp program.
“That is a super exciting way to recognize the importance of natural rivers across the county, why we have state and federal laws to protect them for the values they provide to our community,” he said. “And how lucky we are to live in one of those most beautiful places in the country.”