Laws and Regulations

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...

The Endangered Species Act establishes protections for fish, wildlife, and plants that are listed as threatened or endangered; provides for adding species to and removing them from the list of threatened and endangered species, and for preparing and implementing plans for their recovery;...

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 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to undertake research and conservation activities, in coordination with other Federal, State, international and private organizations, to fulfill responsibilities to conserve migratory nongame birds under existing...

The Food Security Act provides that the Secretary of Agriculture consult with the Secretary of the Interior on the identification of wetlands, determinations of exemptions, and issuance of regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act. Requires the Service to concur in wetland mitigation...

The Lacey Act, as amended in 1981, provides that the Secretary of the Interior designate injurious wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of wildlife shipped to the United States. Prohibits importation, exportation, transportation, sale, or purchase of fish and wildlife taken or possessed in...

The Marine Mammal Protection Act establishes a moratorium on taking and importing marine mammals, including parts and products. Defines the Federal responsibility for conservation of marine mammals, with management authority vested in the Department for the sea otter, walrus, polar bear, dugong...

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 Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712) implements four international conservation treaties that the U.S. entered into with Canada in 1916, Mexico in 1936, Japan in 1972, and Russia in 1976. It is intended to ensure the sustainability of populations of all protected migratory...

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) provides that the Service examine the environmental impacts, incorporate environmental information, and use public participation in the planning and implementation of all actions; integrate NEPA with other planning requirements; prepare NEPA...

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

The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act provides authority, guidelines and directives for the Service to improve the National Wildlife Refuge System; administers a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife and plant...

The National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act authorizes cooperative agreements with nonprofit partner organizations, academic institutions, or State and local governments to construct, operate, maintain, or improve refuge facilities and services, and to promote volunteer, outreach, and...

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 North American Wetlands Conservation Act authorizes grants to public-private partnerships in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to protect, enhance, restore, and manage waterfowl, other migratory birds and other fish and wildlife, and the wetland ecosystems and other habitats upon which they depend...

The Partnerships for Wildlife Act establishes a Wildlife Conservation and Appreciation Fund to receive appropriated funds and donations from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other private sources to assist the State fish and game agencies in carrying out their responsibilities for...

The Refuge Recreation Act of 1962, with subsequent amendments, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to administer refuges, hatcheries and other conservation areas for recreational use, when such uses do not interfere with the primary purpose for which these areas were established.

The Water Resources Development Act authorizes the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan to mitigate fish and wildlife losses caused by power generation at four Corps of Engineers dams on the Lower Snake River in Washington.

The Youth Conservation Corps Act expands and makes permanent the Youth Conservation Corps. The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program, started in 1971, is a summer employment program for young men and women (ages 15–18) from all segments of society who work, learn, and earn together by doing...

Spells out wildlife conservation as the fundamental mission of the Refuge System; requires comprehensive conservation planning to guide management of the Refuge System; directs the involvement of private citizens in land management decisions; and provides that compatible wildlife-dependent...

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, and authorizes Congress to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future...

Freedom of Information Act is a congressionally mandated program that promotes government transparency and accountability to the American people. Through the FOIA program government agencies are obligated to release government documents, files and records to a requestor. The FOIA Office is...

The National Invasive Species Act of 1996 amends the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 to mandate regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes through ballast water.

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...

The Sikes Act directs the Secretary of Defense, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state fish and wildlife agencies, to carry out a program for the conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources on military installations. The Sikes Act allows for the sustainable,...

The Clean Air Act calls for states and EPA to solve multiple air pollution problems through programs based on the latest science and technology information. The Act calls for state, local, tribal and federal governments to work in partnership to clean the air.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act became law in 1972 and is the legal foundation defining how federal advisory committees operate. The law has special emphasis on open meetings, chartering, public involvement, and reporting.

Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982 to address problems caused by coastal barrier development. CBRA restricts most Federal expenditures and financial assistance that tend to encourage development, including Federal flood insurance, in the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier...