In the year 1974 former President Jimmy Carter was the Governor of Georgia. That same year, he took a trip down the Chattooga River in an open-faced aluminum canoe with American Rivers founder Claude Terry that culminated in the first-ever tandem canoe descent of the infamous Bull Sluice rapid.Shortly after this run, Carter used his status as governor to push through legislation that would ultimately designate all 57 miles of the the Chattooga River as Wild and Scenic, permanently preventing any dam building or development along the wild river’s scenic banks.

To this day, thanks in large part to Carter’s efforts, the Chattooga River remains the crown jewell of the entire Southeastern river system. As president, Carter would go on to protect many more rivers throughout the U.S and veto sixteen different dam projects across the country.

This short but powerful film from NRS recounts that infamous day in 1974 when a sitting governor took on the some of the most intense rapids in his state and lived to tell the tale.