Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 USC 1271-1287) -- Public Law 90-542, approved October 2, 1968, (82 Stat. 906) establishes a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and prescribes the methods and standards through which additional rivers may be identified and added to the system.

The Act authorized the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to study areas and submit proposals to the President and Congress for addition to the system. It describes procedures and limitations for control of lands in Federally administered components of the system and for dealing with disposition of lands and minerals under Federal ownership. Rivers are classified as wild, scenic or recreational, and hunting and fishing are permitted in components of the system under applicable Federal and State laws.

As of January 1, 1989, there were 6 Wild and Scenic Rivers in National Wildlife Refuges, totaling 1,385 miles, all in Alaska.

Public Law 98-444, approved October 4, 1984, (98 Stat. 1714) amended the Act to permit installation and operation of facilities to control the lamprey eel, as prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture, for the protection of water quality and the value of the Pere Marquette River.

Public Law 99-663, approved November 17, 1986, (100 Stat. 4294) established the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon and Washington. It created a Columbia River Gorge Commission to develop a management plan for non-Federal lands within the Area. Special Management Areas (SMAs) were established within the Scenic Area, and all Federal lands within the SMA, except land administered by the Bonneville Power Administration and the Corps of Engineers, were transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture for management.

Return to Resource Laws