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Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse: Environmental resources for tribal energy development
Energy Resources Assessments & Monitoring Laws & Regulations
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TEEIC Laws & Regulations Section Guide

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSR)

Legislation establishing that certain selected rivers which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected. Regulations issued under the WSR Act (16 USC 1271 et seq.) establish the procedures by which the designated wild and scenic rivers will be managed. The full suite of regulations issued by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under this Act is available at 43 CFR 8351.

Regulations Applicable to Energy Development

The entire suite of WSR Act regulations issued by the BLM may be applicable to energy development activities. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service has issued regulations related to the management of wild and scenic rivers that may be applicable to energy development activities.

  • BLM Wild and Scenic River Act Regulations (43 CFR 8351)
    Regulations issued by the BLM implementing WSR Act requirements (these regulations also address the management of the national trails system)
  • USDA Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Regulations (36 CFR 297)
    Regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture requiring that any license, permit, or other authorization for a federally funded water resources project on any portion of a Wild and Scenic River or Study River cannot be granted, nor can appropriations be requested to begin construction of such projects, without submitting notice to the Secretary of Agriculture and receiving a consent determination. Such determinations are subject to review under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Relevant Web Site(s)


This statute may apply to the following energy resources:
Biomass, Carbon Sequestration, Coal, Geothermal, Low-Head Hydropower, Oil & Gas, Solar, Transmission, Wind
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