Once a river segment has been found eligible and given a tentative (inventoried) classification (wild, scenic and/or recreational), how are its values protected?

Protective management of federal lands in the river area begins at the time the river segment(s) has been found eligible.  The free-flowing condition, identified outstandingly remarkable values, and classification are protected to the extent authorized under law and subject to valid existing rights.  Affording adequate protection requires sound resource management decisions based on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis.  Protective management should be initiated by the administering agency as soon as eligibility is determined.  Specific management prescriptions for eligible river segments provide protection in the following ways:

Free-flowing Condition.  The free-flowing condition  of eligible river segments cannot be modified by construction or development of stream impoundments, diversions, or other water resources projects.

Outstandingly Remarkable Values.  Each segment shall be managed to protect outstandingly remarkable values and, to the extent practicable, such values shall be enhanced.

Classification.  Classification should be maintained as inventoried for the protection period specified by Congress for a 5(a) study river, or until a suitability study (decision) is completed that recommends management at a less restrictive classification for a 5(d)(1) study.

Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Council