Georgia Water/Laws/Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

U.S. Wild & Scenic Rivers Act (1968)

General Description


The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA) was enacted to preserve the free-flowing state of rivers that are listed in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (System) or under study for inclusion in the System because of their outstanding scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values. Rivers in the System are classified as wild river areas, scenic river areas, or recreational river areas. The WSRA establishes requirements applicable to water resource projects and protects both the river, or river segments, and the land immediately surrounding them.

Administering Agencies


The Department of the Interior (through the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service) and the Department of Agriculture (through the Forest Service) manage wild and scenic rivers within their jurisdiction and conduct the necessary studies to include additional rivers or river components into the System. Under Section 2(a) of the Act, states may also propose rivers to the System and manage them.

Substance of Act


Section 7 of the WSRA specifically prohibits federal agencies from providing assistance for the construction of any water resources projects that would adversely affect wild and scenic rivers. Assistance may be in the form of a loan, grant, or license. A water resources project is defined as a dam, water conduit, reservoir, powerhouse, transmission line, discharge to waters, or development project that would affect the free-flowing characteristics or scenic, recreational, fish and wildlife values of a wild and scenic river or study river.

Text of Act


Available at