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John Stewart

County Public Lands Policy To Be Discussed

Please read this entire message as there is an important opportunity on Monday, December 3rd, for the public to address the Lyon County Board of Commissioners (BOC) regarding wilderness areas in Lyon County.

Since our last eAlert the BOC met on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 and they are proposing that two elements of the current Public Lands Policy be rescinded.  First, rescind the "No additional Wilderness Areas shall be designated in Lyon County" language and second, rescind all "penalty" statements (related to violations of the Public Lands Policy).  The BOC will decided the fate of this proposed action at their December 6, 2012 meeting (agenda not yet published).  Obviously, passage of this proposal will mean the BOC would be released from past decisions and commitments to "no wilderness" as contained in County Code Title 10 Chapter 13 and past resolutions.

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Chief

Status of Wilderness Legislation in the 110th Congress

The following is a description of the wilderness bills that have been introduced in the 110th Congress and a summary of where each measure stands in the legislative progress as of August 2008.  To read the full text of any of these wilderness bills, visit the Library of Congress and search on the specific bill number of interest.

Here is a quick refresher on the basics of how a bill becomes a law.  An elected member of Congress introduces a bill in his or her chamber (House or Senate).  The bill is referred to the appropriate committee, which reviews it, amends it, and approves it.  The full chamber then debates it, possibly amends it again, approves it and forwards it to the other chamber, which does the same.  If there are differences between the two versions, those differences are resolved, both chambers (if changes have been made) approve the final version, and send it to the White House.  The President signs it, and it becomes law.

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Chief

Wild and Scenic Rivers Suitability Study Overview

Wild and Scenic Rivers Suitability Study Overview

Federal agencies are required by law to consider during their planning rivers that may be eligible for incorporation into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Click here to learn more about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. There are four steps to complete in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Study Process. They include:

Step 1: Determining eligibility – an objective inventory of river conditions. Is the river segment free-flowing and does it possess one or more outstandingly remarkable value? Step 2: Determining classification – River segments are classified as wild, scenic, or recreational based on the level of development and access along the river corridor. Is the river Wild, Scenic, or Recreational? Step 3: Determining suitability – The suitability step considers the questions, “Is the river worthy to pursue a Congressional designation. It Takes the following into account: “Worthy additions” to the national systemTradeoffs between development and protection Status of land ownership Potential uses of the land and related waters Interest in designation or non-designation by federal, Tribal, state, local governments, public and others Estimated costs for management and protection of Outstandingly Remarkable Values Ability of agency to manage and/or protect the river Historical or existing rights which could be affected Step 4: Designating the river – Can happen by an Act of Congress or by the Secretary of the Interior, upon application of the governor of a state.
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Chief

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which designated the first eight rivers into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and established a process for building a legacy of protected rivers. After careful consideration, rivers continue to be added to the National System; Congress and the people determine which of our remaining free-flowing rivers will be protected.What Makes a River Wild and Scenic?Rivers, or sections of rivers, must be free-flowing and possess at least one "outstandingly remarkable" value, such as scenic, recreational, geologic, fish, wildlife, historic, cultural, or other features. Congress or the Secretary of the Interior may add rivers to the growing National System.Within the National System, three classifications define the general character of designated rivers: wild, scenic or recreational. Classifications reflect levels of development and natural conditions along a stretch of river. These classifications are used to help develop management goals for the river.What Does the Act Do?The Act balances the demands for hydropower, flood control, and irrigation with the desire to protect some of this country's most outstanding rivers. The Act's underlying principles: * Keep designated rivers free-flowing * Protect outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values * Allow existing uses to continue where they do not conflict with river protection * Build partnerships among landowners, river users, tribal nations, and all levels of governmentThe Act may also: * Encourage basin-wide management that crosses political boundaries * Promote public participation in developing goals for river protection * Offer technical assistance for river conservation * Improve understanding of river values and processes * Deepen awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of river conservationHow are Wild and Scenic Rivers Managed?Where rivers flow through federal lands, the responsible agency takes the stewardship role. Four federal agencies manage congressionally designated rivers: * USDA Forest Service * USDI Bureau of Land Management * USDI National Park Service * USDI Fish and Wildlife ServiceFor state-administered rivers, designated by the Secretary of the Interior at a governor's request, a state agency manages the river, sometimes in concert with local governments.Rivers, however, do not follow neat property lines and stewardship is a responsibility shared by numerous government agencies, tribal nations, private landowners and river users. The framers of the Act recognized this; Sections 11 and 12 encourage cooperative management among the many players in a watershed.What are the Dimensions of the National System?More than 160 rivers in 38 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico comprise the National System. More than 11,000 river miles are protected, just over one-quarter of one percent of the nation's rivers. There is great geographic diversity, from the remote rivers of Alaska, Idaho and Oregon to rivers threading through the rural countryside of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Ohio. So too there is great diversity in the type of these rivers, which range from cascading mountain streams to blackwater rivers in the Southeast. Each preserves a part of the American story and heritage.To Find Out MoreTo find out more about the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, visit: http://www.rivers.gov/

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