Most of the publications listed here are written and produced by the Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Council (Council). These “how-to” papers have been vetted through all four agencies, various Solicitor’s Offices where legal conclusions are drawn, and multiple end-users. However, things evolve, and if you have any concerns or questions over anything found in these papers, don’t hesitate to reach out to any Council member.

Where an additional paper or reference is provided, the source is specifically noted. The Council does not endorse or ensure accuracy of these additional sources.

A Compendium of Questions & Answers Relating to Wild & Scenic Rivers

Everything you wanted to know about wild and scenic rivers in a Q&A format. These Q&As can also be accessed through a searchable data base (see bottom menu).

August 1. 2018

 

An Introduction to Wild & Scenic Rivers

A concise primer on wild and scenic rivers and what designation means to you.

February 1. 2019

 

Core Competencies for River Management

What are the knowledge, skills and abilities to look for in river management positions? Here are some guidelines.

March 6. 2018

 

Designating Rivers Through Section 2(a)(ii) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

This paper describes a process for designating rivers into the National System at the request of a state.

June 1. 2007

 

Establishment of Wild & Scenic River Boundaries

Establishing a boundary for a wild and scenic river (WSR) is an important step in delineating the area which will receive the greatest effort in resource protection. The boundary defines the area in which interest in lands may be acquired for WSR purposes. When rivers flowing partially or wholly through non-federally owned lands are added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, inclusion of private lands in the boundary is often controversial. In response to landowner concerns, agencies sometimes have considered “bank-to-bank” boundaries. Given the clear intent of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to protect the river and its “immediate environment,” such boundaries could jeopardize fulfillment of the intent of the Act.

October 1. 2017

 

Evaluation of State Water Quality Assessments and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

Although water quality protection is a fundamental river value of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, there has been no comprehensive effort to assess the state of water quality within the National System. The purpose of this report is to address this issue by evaluating the status of water quality of designated WSRs using state water quality reports prepared under the guidance of the Clean Water Act.

October 1. 2018

 

Evolution of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: A History of Substantive Amendments 1968-2013

This paper looks at all of the amendments to the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act since its inception and explores the impacts of those amendments.

Here is the Congressional Record for the Evolution of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: A History of Substantive Amendments 1968-2013 paper. This page presents the congressional history that was used in this paper.

November 1. 2014

 

Implementing the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act: Authorities and Roles of Key Federal Agencies

What responsibilities do other agencies have for wild and scenic rivers? Here’s the answer.

January 1. 1999

 

Instream Flow Protection Strategies for Wild and Scenic Rivers

A technical report designed to provide tools and strategies to protect the instream flow needs of federally designated wild and scenic rivers.

March 1. 2022

 

Interim Management and Steps to Develop a CRMP

This paper provides guidance for interim management of a newly designated wild and scenic river and generalized steps to develop a comprehensive river management plan. It expands the content of Appendix A of the Wild & Scenic River Management Responsibilities paper below.

March 31. 2010

 

Protecting Resource Values on Non-Federal Lands

How wild and scenic rivers are protected where the federal government doesn't manage the surrounding area.

October 1. 1996

 

Steps to Address User Capacities for Wild and Scenic Rivers

Every river management plan is required to address user capacities. This paper explains how to determine those capacities.

February 1. 2018

 

The River Partnership Paradigm

How to creative partnerships between communities, tribal and other governments, and a diverse range of non-governmental organizations and individuals. Prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

June 1. 2004

 

The Wild & Scenic River Study Process

This paper explains the wild and scenic river study process for congressionally authorized and agency-identified study rivers.

December 1. 1999

 

The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and Federal Water Rights – 2008

A report on how federal water rights have been exercised on wild and scenic rivers. Prepared by the Congressional Research Service.

January 14. 2008

 

The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and Federal Water Rights – 2009

A report on how federal water rights have been exercised on wild and scenic rivers. Prepared by the Congressional Research Service.

January 9. 2009

 

The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and Federal Water Rights – 2010

A report on how federal water rights have been exercised on wild and scenic rivers. Prepared by the Congressional Research Service.

February 23. 2010

 

The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act: Section 7

This paper describes the standards and procedures used in evaluating the effects of proposed water resources projects.

October 1. 2004

 

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act at 50: Managers’ Views of Actions, Barriers and Partnerships

The research presented here used a mixed-method approach consisting of quantitative rankings and interviews to explore river manager and partner perspectives about the most pressing management actions and barriers for continued river management under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. It also explores the role of public-private partnerships in continued management of protected rivers. Travis B. Paveglio et al., Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

November 6. 2021

 

training-needs-resources.pdf

The knowledge, skills and abilities river managers should have and where to find training. This paper complements the Core Competencies paper.

January 9. 2024

 

visitor-use-management.pdf

A Resource Crosswalk between the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council (IVUMC) and Interagency Wild and Scenic River Coordinating Council (IWSRCC) guidelines

January 9. 2024

 

Water Quantity and Quality as Related to the Management of Wild & Scenic Rivers

How to protect water quality and instream flows.

October 1. 2003

 

Wild & Scenic River Management Responsibilities

Considerations in managing—and developing management plans for—wild and scenic rivers.

March 1. 2002

 

Wild & Scenic Rivers and the Use of Eminent Domain

Although eminent domain (condemnation) has never been a prominent method of acquiring lands within wild and scenic river&8212;and has almost ceased to be used after the early 1980s&82121;it is still a contentious issue when rivers are being considered for addition to the National System. The purpose of this paper is to show how infrequently eminent domain has been used.

November 1. 1998