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Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1986
Jul. 14, 2005
This act (16 USC 1271-1287, last amended in May 1991) outlines the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, must be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments must be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Congress declares that the established national policy of dam and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and fulfill other vital national conservation purposes (16 USC 1271). The purpose of this act is to implement the declared policy of Congress by instituting a national wild and scenic rivers system, by designing the initial components of that system, and by prescribing the methods by which and standards to which additional components may be added to the system from time to time (16 USC 1272). Full Text of Act available here.

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Last Updated: January 22, 2018