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The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Post war era: more time and money, bigger families, better transportation, hi-tech recreation equipment, concern with river development

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The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

  • Post war era: more time and money, bigger families, better transportation, hi-tech recreation equipment, concern with river development

  • Recommended by the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission to protect some free flowing rivers

  • Sponsored by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Signed by LBJ on October 2, 1968


2008 Status of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act - 40th Anniversary

  • NWSRS had 11K miles on 166 rivers in 38 states (0.25% of nations rivers)

  • In comparison , 75K dams have modified 600K river miles (17% of nations rivers)

  • 76 miles of Cache La Poudre, only Colorado River


Wild scenic rivers act
Wild & Scenic Rivers Act

Section 5(d)(1) of the act requires federal agencies undertaking land management planning to assess rivers and streams for potential inclusion in to the NWSRS


Wild scenic river identification and evaluation process
Wild & Scenic River Identification and Evaluation Process

  • River (Segment) Identification

  • Boundary Identification

  • Eligibility

  • Classification

  • Suitability

  • Designation


Wild scenic river review process
Wild & Scenic River Review Process

River Segment Identification

Consider:

- presence of dams

- development

- changes in river character

- tributaries

- changes in land status


Wild scenic river review process1
Wild & Scenic River Review Process

Boundary Identification (river study area)

Preliminary boundary is a quarter mile buffer along both sides of river from ordinary high water mark.

Buffer width can vary as needed to protect river values (ORVs), but cannot average more than 320 acres per river mile.


Wild scenic river review process2
Wild & Scenic River Review Process

Eligibility:

To be eligible, a stream segment must be “free flowing” and have at least one “Outstandingly Remarkable Value” (ORV).


Wild scenic river review process3
Wild & Scenic River Review Process

Eligibility

“free-flowing” is any size creek or stream, of any length that has intermittent, interrupted, or a perennial flow regime.


Wild & Scenic River Review Process

Eligibility

  • “Free Flowing” does not mean a natural

  • or unaltered flow regime.

  • Major impoundments above or below

  • segment does not render it ineligible


Wild scenic river review process4
Wild & Scenic River Review Process:

Eligibility

Attributes of a “free-flowing” river reach:

  • A stream corridor in substantially natural condition

  • Few impoundments

  • Few diversions

  • No straightening

  • No major rip-rapping

  • No channel modifications such as channelization


Wild scenic river process eligibility
Wild & Scenic River Process Eligibility

Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs)

  • Scenic

  • Fish habitat

  • Recreation

  • Wildlife habitat

  • Geologic/Hydrologic

  • Historic

  • Cultural

  • Ecological

  • other


Wild scenic river review process eligibility
Wild & Scenic River Review ProcessEligibility

Attributes of (ORVs):

  • Rare, extraordinary, or unique

  • A superior example of a widespread value

  • Outstanding in a statewide, regional, or national context (Region of Comparison)

  • Stream-related

  • Based on the expertise of professionals


Wild and scenic river process tentative classification
Wild and Scenic River Process Tentative Classification

  • A Wild river is free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds essentially primitive, and with unpolluted waters.

  • A Scenic river may have some development, and may have road and railroad access points.

  • A Recreationalriver may have more extensive development along its shoreline, including transportation routes, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion.


Wild scenic river process suitability determination
Wild & Scenic River Process: Suitability Determination

Suitability – assesses the manageability of a river segment.

  • Ownership and land uses?

  • Conflicts with river manageability?

  • Costs of management?

  • Other agency support?

  • Other means for protection?

  • Affects to existing rights?

  • Holistic protection strategy?

  • Other issues?


Wild scenic river process suitability determination1
Wild & Scenic River ProcessSuitability Determination

Suitability recommendations are developed by the BLM using input from stakeholders during the alternatives formulation process of the resource management plan.


Wild scenic river process designation
Wild & Scenic River Process: Designation

  • Only Congress or the Secretary of Interior can designate a Wild and Scenic River!

  • The managing agencies, with public input, develop a management plan to protect and enhance the ORVs


Wild scenic river process water rights
Wild & Scenic River Process:Water Rights

  • Designation has historically included a federal reserved water right.

  • The managing agency quantifies the amount and timing of water necessary to support ORVs.

  • The water rights are adjudicated in state court.

  • The federal water right receives a priority equal to the date of designation.


Http www rivers gov
http://www.rivers.gov/

For More Information on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act see:


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