Vol. VI, Laws     (Compiled from February 10, 1939 to January 13, 1971)

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Public Law 90-542
October 2, 1968 | [S. 119] 82 Stat. 906

To provide for a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes.
Section 6

Margin Notes
Public Law 90-542 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Sec. 6 912 Land acquisition.
Sec. 6 913
Sec. 6 Right of use and occupancy.
Sec. 6 "Improved property."

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Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) this Act may be cited as the "Wild and Scenic Rivers Act".

(b) It is hereby declared to be 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, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall 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

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quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes.

(c) The purpose of this Act is to implement this policy by instituting a national wild and scenic rivers system, by designating the initial components of that system, and by prescribing the methods by which and standards according to which additional components may be added to the system from time to time.

SEC. 6.

The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture are each authorized to acquire lands and interests in land within the authorized boundaries of any component of the national wild and scenic rivers system designated in section 3 of this Act, or hereafter designated for inclusion in the system by Act of Congress, which is administered by him, but he shall not acquire fee title to an average or more than 100 acres per mile on both sides of the river. Lands owned by a State may be acquired only by donation, and lands owned by an Indian tribe or a political subdivision of a State may not be acquired without the consent of the appropriate governing body thereof as long as the Indian tribe or political subdivision is following a plan for management and protection of the lands which the Secretary finds protects the land and assures its use for purposes consistent with this Act. Money appropriated for Federal purposes from the land and water conservation fund shall, without prejudice to the use of appropriations from other sources, be available to Federal departments and agencies for the acquisition of property for the purposes of this Act.

(b) If 50 per centum or more of the entire acreage within a federally administered wild, scenic or recreational river area is owned by the United States, by the State or States within which it lies, or by political subdivisions of those States, neither Secretary shall acquire fee title to any lands by condemnation under authority of this Act. Nothing contained in this section, however, shall preclude the use of condemnation when necessary to clear title or to acquire scenic easements or such other easements as are reasonably necessary to give the public access to the river and to permit its members to traverse the length of the area or of selected segments thereof.

(c) Neither the Secretary of the Interior nor the Secretary of Agriculture may acquire lands by condemnation, for the purpose of including such lands in any national wild, scenic or recreational river area, if such lands are located within any incorporated city, village, or borough which has in force and applicable to such lands a duly adopted, valid zoning ordinance that conforms with the purposes of this Act. In order to carry out the provisions of this subsection the appropriate Secretary shall issue guidelines, specifying standards for local zoning ordinances, which are consistent with the purposes of this Act. The standards specified in such guidelines shall have the object of (A) prohibiting new commercial or industrial uses other than commercial or industrial uses which are consistent with the purposes of this Act, and (B) the protection of the bank lands by means of acreage, frontage, and setback requirements on development.

(d) The appropriate Secretary is authorized to accept title to non-Federal property within the authorized boundaries of any federally administered component of the national wild and scenic rivers system designated in section 3 of this Act or hereafter designated for inclusion in the system by Act of Congress and, in exchange therefor, convey to the grantor any federally owned property which is under his jurisdiction within the State in which the component lies and which he classifies as suitable for exchange or other disposal. The values of the properties so exchanged either shall be approximately equal or, if they are not approximately equal, shall be equalized by the payment of cash to the grantor or to the Secretary as the circumstances require.

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(e) The head of any Federal department or agency having administrative jurisdiction over any lands or interests in land within the authorized boundaries of any federally administered component of the national wild and scenic rivers system designated in section 3 of this Act or hereafter designated for inclusion in the system by Act of Congress in authorized to transfer to the. appropriate secretary jurisdiction over such lands for administration in accordance with the provisions of this Act. Lands acquired by or transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture for the purposes of this Act within or adjacent to a national forest shall upon such acquisition or transfer become national forest lands.

(f) The appropriate Secretary is authorized to accept donations of lands and interests in land, funds, and other property for use in connection with his administration of the national wild and scenic rivers system.

(g) (1) Any owner or owners (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as "owner") of improved property on the date of its acquisition, may retain for themselves and their successors or assigns a right of use and occupancy of the improved property for noncommercial residential purposes for a definite term not to exceed twenty-five years or, in lieu thereof, for a term ending at the death of the owner, or the death of his spouse, or the death of either or both of them. The owner shall elect the term to be reserved. The appropriate Secretary shall pay to the owner the fair market value of the property on the date of such acquisition less the fair market value on such date of the right retained by the owner.

(2) A right of use and occupancy retained pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to termination whenever the appropriate Secretary is given reasonable cause to find that such use and occupancy is being exercised in a manner which conflicts with the purposes of this Act. In the event of such a finding, the Secretary shall tender to the holder of that right an amount equal to the fair market value of that portion of the right which remains unexpired on the date of termination. Such right of use or occupancy shall terminate by operation of law upon tender of the fair market price.

(3) The term "improved property", as used in this Act, means a detached, one-family dwelling (hereinafter referred to as "dwelling"), the construction of which was begun before January 1, 1967, together with so much of the land on which the dwelling is situated, the said land being in the same ownership as the dwelling, as the appropriate Secretary shall designate to be reasonably necessary for the enjoyment of the dwelling for the sole purpose of noncommercial residential use, together with any structures accessory to the dwelling which are situated on the land so designated.

Approved, October 2, 1968.

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