Laws and Regulations

White Ibis

At E.F.H. ACE Basin NWR, treaties, laws, administrative guidelines, and policy guidelines assist the refuge manager in making decisions that pertain to natural, historical, and cultural resources; research and recreation on refuge lands; and provide a framework for cooperation between ACE Basin NWR and other partners, such as the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, The Lowcountry Open Land Trust, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, and private landowners.

Lands within the Refuge System are closed to public use unless specifically and legally opened. No refuge use may be allowed unless it is determined to be compatible. A compatible use is a use that, in the sound professional judgment of the refuge manager, will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the mission of the Refuge System or the purposes of the refuge. All programs and uses must be evaluated based on mandates set forth in the Improvement Act.

Those mandates are to:

  • contribute to ecosystem goals, as well as refuge purposes and goals;
  • conserve, manage, and restore fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats;
  • monitor the trends of fish, wildlife, and plants;
  • manage and ensure appropriate visitor uses as those uses benefit the conservation of fish and wildlife resources and contribute to the enjoyment of the public; and
  • ensure that visitor activities are compatible with refuge purposes.

The Improvement Act identifies six priority wildlife-dependent recreational uses. The uses are hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation. As priority public uses of the Refuge System, they receive priority consideration over other public uses in planning and management.

 

The Anadromous Fish Conservation Act authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to enter into cooperative agreements with the States and other non-Federal interests for the conservation, development, and enhancement of anadromous fish, including those in the Great Lakes, and to...

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act provides for protection of archaeological resources and sites on public and Tribal lands and for increased cooperation between government authorities, the professional archaeological community, and private collectors with collections obtained before...

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d), enacted in 1940, and amended several times since, prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from "taking" bald or golden eagles, including their parts (including feathers), nests, or eggs....

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act, as amended, requires the Secretary of the Interior (a responsibility delegated to the Service) to maintain the maps of the Coastal Barrier Resources System, to review the system at least every five years for changes which have occurred as a result of natural...

The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act provides a Federal grant program for the acquisition, restoration, management, and enhancement of coastal wetlands of States adjacent to the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, and the Pacific, including Puerto Rico, the U.S....

The Coastal Zone Management Act establishes a voluntary national program within the Department of Commerce to encourage coastal States to develop and implement coastal zone management plans. Activities that affect coastal zones must be consistent with approved State programs. The Act also...

The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act provides for the collection of entrance fees, thirty percent of which may be used for refuge operations and maintenance, and for the Secretary of the Interior to establish and periodically review a national wetlands priority conservation plan for Federal and...

Section 404 (m) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) authorizes the Service to comment on permit applications submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters of the United States. Section 208(i) authorizes...

The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 establishes a comprehensive national fish and wildlife policy and authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to take steps required for the development, management, advancement, conservation, and protection of fisheries resources and wildlife resources through...

The Migratory Bird Conservation Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct investigations and publish documents related to North American birds, and establishes a Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) to approve areas recommended by the Secretary for acquisition. The MBCC...

The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, commonly referred to as the Duck Stamp Act, requires waterfowl hunters, 16 years of age or older, to purchase and possess a valid Federal waterfowl hunting stamp prior to taking migratory waterfowl. The Secretary of the Interior is...

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 directs Federal agencies to preserve, restore, and maintain historic cultural environments.

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act authorizes grants for the conservation of neotropical migratory birds in the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean, with 75 percent of the amounts made available to be expended on projects outside the United States. The funds are to be...

The Federal Noxious Weed Act, enacted in 1975, established a federal program to control the spread of noxious weeds. The Secretary of Agriculture was given the authority to designate plants as noxious weeds by regulation, and the movement of all such weeds in interstate or foreign commerce was...