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A Primer: West Virginia Scenic Rivers Act (Part 2 - How Rivers Are Designated)

Image Description: An out of the way tributary of the Greenbrier River.

Part 1 of the Primer explained the three different categories of quality rivers that can be designated in the State Scenic Rivers system: wild, scenic and recreational. Part 2 explains the process of how worthy rivers are nominated and approved as a scenic river or stream.

Rivers are considered for their Outstanding Remarkable Values, or ORVs. ORVs include geologic, archeologic, recreational, scenic, historic, cultural, fishing and hunting, hydrologic, and scientific. Most rivers considered for inclusion in the scenic rivers system will have several of these ORVs, which strengthens their candidacies. For each river proposed, a detailed report/application must be drafted for submission to the Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) for review. The proposal specifies the category of the proposed stream or river (wild, scenic, recreational) and accompanied by a detailed report on the outstanding remarkable values which make the river or stream a worthy addition to the state scenic rivers system. Such studies and proposals can be prepared within the WVDNR, by other agencies, or by citizen groups working independently or in coordination with the WVDNR.

All proposals will be reviewed by all affected state and federal agencies for comment. All proposals, at a minimum, must identify the proposed river or stream segment, the recommended designation, the characteristics which qualify the river or stream, or segment thereof for designation (ORVs), the general ownership and land use along the stream or river, and the estimated costs of land acquisition (if agreed upon between the WVDNR and the landowner), and all WVDNR administrative costs for managing the proposed stream or river as part of the Scenic Rivers System.

The Director will the final authority in designating a stream or river.

After the Director has decided that a proposed stream or river should be included in the state scenic rivers system, a public meeting will be held with local officials and citizens for comment.

Greenbrier River Tributary

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