Learn More About Wild and Scenic Rivers
Wild and Scenic Rivers are designated by Congress or the Secretary of the Interior under the Wild and Scenic River (WSR) Act of 1968 to protect outstanding remarkable scenic, recreational, geological, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other values and to preserve the river in its free-flowing condition and outstanding remarkable values for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Whew! Essentially, the Wild and Scenic River designation provides special protection.
Wild and Scenic Rivers are comprised of three types: Wild, Scenic, and Recreational.
Wild Rivers are primitive with no human development or road access. Scenic Rivers are generally undeveloped along the shorelines with little local road access. Recreational Rivers are known for having regular road access as well as local shortline development.
The WSR Act directs Federal agencies to consider potential Wild and Scenic Rivers as a part of their land-use planning processes. To fulfill this requirement, whenever the BLM undertakes a land-use planning effort like the current Resource Management Plans (RMP), it must analyze river and stream segments that might be eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System. This analysis is being completed through a WSR study.
A WSR study process is composed of two main components: (1) the eligibility phase and (2) the suitability phase. At this point, the BLM has completed the eligibility phase and is now conducting the suitability determination for rivers in western Oregon. This suitability step provides the basis for determining which rivers should be recommended as a new addition to the National Wild and Scenic River System.
Several factors are considered before a segment is found suitable for designation as a Wild and Scenic River. To illustrate, characteristics which do or do not make a river suitable for designation include current status of land ownership, reasonably foreseeable potential uses of the land and water to would be enhanced, foreclosed, or curtailed if designated, and support or opposition to a WSR designation for a specific eligible segment.
No. Wild and Scenic River designation only applies to Federal lands. No private property within this corridor is influenced by this designation. In addition, Wild and Scenic designations of Federal rivers require the BLM to develop a management plan for these public rivers with our neighbors that will engage public discussions and active participation in how these public rivers are managed.
During our scoping process, the BLM is focusing on the characteristics of river segments which may or may not make the area worthy for designation. We’re also asking to hear public support or opposition to this designation.
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