Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                 September 11, 1997

                          EXECUTIVE ORDER 13061

                              - - - - - - -

                        AMERICAN HERITAGE RIVERS

 By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and 
the laws of the United States of America, including the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-190), and in order 
to protect and restore rivers and their adjacent communities, it is 
hereby ordered as follows:

 Section 1.  Policies.

 (a) The American Heritage Rivers initiative has three objectives:  
natural resource and environmental protection, economic revitalization, 
and historic and cultural preservation.

 (b) Executive agencies ("agencies"), to the extent permitted by law 
and consistent with their missions and resources, shall coordinate 
Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to preserve, protect, 
and restore rivers and their associated resources important to our 
history, culture, and natural heritage.

 (c) Agencies shall develop plans to bring increased efficiencies to 
existing and authorized programs with goals that are supportive of 
protection and restoration of communities along rivers.

 (d) In accordance with Executive Order 12630, agencies shall act with 
due regard for the protection of private property provided for by the 
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  No new regulatory 
authority is created as a result of the American Heritage Rivers 
initiative.  This initiative will not interfere with matters of State, 
local, and tribal government jurisdiction.

 (e) In furtherance of these policies, the President will designate 
rivers that meet certain criteria as "American Heritage Rivers."

 (f) It is the policy of the Federal Government that communities shall 
nominate rivers as American Heritage Rivers and the Federal role will 
be solely to support community-based efforts to preserve, protect, and 
restore these rivers and their communities.

 (g) Agencies should, to the extent practicable, help identify resources 
in the private and nonprofit sectors to aid revitalization efforts.

 (h) Agencies are encouraged, to the extent permitted by law, to 
develop partnerships with State, local, and tribal governments and 
community and nongovernmental organizations.  Agencies will be 
responsive to the diverse needs of different kinds of communities 
from the core of our cities to remote rural areas and shall seek to 
ensure that the role played by the Federal Government is complementary 
to the plans and work being carried out by State, local, and tribal 
governments.  To the extent possible, Federal resources will be 
strategically directed to complement resources being spent by these 

 (i) Agencies shall establish a method for field offices to assess the 
success of the American Heritage River initiative and provide a means 
to recommend changes that will improve the delivery and accessibility 
of Federal services and programs.  Agencies are directed, where 
appropriate, to reduce and make more flexible procedural requirements 
and paperwork related to providing assistance to communities along 
designated rivers.

 (j) Agencies shall commit to a policy under which they will seek to 
ensure that their actions have a positive effect on the natural, 
historic, economic, and cultural resources of American Heritage River 
communities.  The policy will require agencies to consult with American 
Heritage River communities early in the planning stages of Federal 
actions, take into account the communities' goals and objectives and 
ensure that actions are compatible with the overall character of these 
communities.  Agencies shall seek to ensure that their help for one 
community does not adversely affect neighboring communities.  
Additionally, agencies are encouraged to develop formal and informal 
partnerships to assist communities.  Local Federal facilities, to the 
extent permitted by law and consistent with the agencies' missions and 
resources, should provide public access, physical space, technical 
assistance, and other support for American Heritage River communities.

 (k) In addition to providing support to designated rivers, agencies 
will work together to provide information and services to all 
communities seeking support.

 Sec. 2.  Process for Nominating an American Heritage River.

 (a)  Nomination.  Communities, in coordination with their State, local, 
or tribal governments, can nominate their river, river stretch, or 
river confluence for designation as an American Heritage River.  When 
several communities are involved in the nomination of the same river, 
nominations will detail the coordination among the interested 
communities and the role each will play in the process.  Individuals 
living outside the community may not nominate a river. 

 (b)  Selection Criteria.  Nominations will be judged based on the 

 (1) the characteristics of the natural, economic, agricultural, scenic, 
historic, cultural, or recreational resources of the river that render 
it distinctive or unique;

 (2) the effectiveness with which the community has defined its plan of 
action and the extent to which the plan addresses, either through 
planned actions or past accomplishments, all three American Heritage 
Rivers objectives, which are set forth in section 1(a) of this order;

 (3)  the strength and diversity of community support for the 
nomination as evidenced by letters from elected officials; landowners; 
private citizens; businesses; and especially State, local, and tribal 
governments.  Broad community support is essential to receiving the 
American Heritage River designation; and   

 (4) willingness and capability of the community to forge partnerships 
and agreements to implement their plan to meet their goals and 

 (c)  Recommendation Process.

 The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality ("CEQ") shall 
develop a fair and objective procedure to obtain the views of a 
diverse group of experts for the purpose of making recommendations 
to the President as to which rivers shall be designated.  These 
experts shall reflect a variety of viewpoints, such as those 
representing natural, cultural, and historic resources; scenic, 
environmental, and recreation interests; tourism, transportation, 
and economic development interests; and industries such as agriculture, 
hydropower, manufacturing, mining, and forest management.  The Chair 
of the CEQ will ensure that the rivers recommended represent a variety 
of stream sizes, diverse geographical locations, and a wide range of 
settings from urban to rural and ensure that relatively pristine, 
successful revitalization efforts are considered as well as degraded 
rivers in need of restoration.

 (d) Designation.

 (1) The President will designate certain rivers as American Heritage 
Rivers.  Based on the receipt of a sufficient number of qualified 
nominations, ten rivers will be designated in the first phase of the 

 (2) The Interagency Committee provided for in section 3 of this order 
shall develop a process by which any community that nominates and has 
its river designated may have this designation terminated at its 

 (3) Upon a determination by the Chair of the CEQ that a community has 
failed to implement its plan, the Chair may recommend to the President 
that a designation be revoked.  The Chair shall notify the community at 
least 30 days prior to making such a recommendation to the President.  
Based on that recommendation, the President may revoke the designation. 

 Sec. 3.  Establishment of an Interagency Committee.  There is hereby 
established the American Heritage Rivers Interagency Committee 
("Committee").  The Committee shall have two co-chairs.  The Chair of 
the CEQ shall be a permanent co-chair.  The other co-chair will rotate 
among the heads of the agencies listed below.  

 (a)  The Committee shall be composed of the following members or their 
designees at the Assistant Secretary level or equivalent:

 (1)  The Secretary of Defense;

 (2)  The Attorney General;

 (3)  The Secretary of the Interior;

 (4)  The Secretary of Agriculture;

 (5)  The Secretary of Commerce;

 (6)  The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

 (7)  The Secretary of Transportation;

 (8)  The Secretary of Energy;

 (9)  The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

 (10) The Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation;

 (11) The Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts; and

 (12) The Chairperson of the National Endowment for the 

 The Chair of the CEQ may invite to participate in meetings of the 
Committee, representatives of other agencies, as appropriate.

 (b) The Committee shall:

 (1) establish formal guidelines for designation as an American 
Heritage River;

 (2) periodically review the actions of agencies in support of the 
American Heritage Rivers;

 (3) report to the President on the progress, accomplishments, and 
effectiveness of the American Heritage Rivers initiative; and

 (4) perform other duties as directed by the Chair of the CEQ.

 Sec.  4.  Responsibilities of the Federal Agencies. Consistent with 
Title I of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, agencies 

 (a) identify their existing programs and plans that give them the 
authority to offer assistance to communities involved in river 
conservation and community health and revitalization;

 (b) to the extent practicable and permitted by law and regulation, 
refocus programs, grants, and technical assistance to provide support 
for communities adjacent to American Heritage Rivers;

 (c) identify all technical tools, including those developed for 
purposes other than river conservation, that can be applied to river 
protection, restoration, and community revitalization;  

 (d) provide access to existing scientific data and information to the 
extent permitted by law and consistent with the agencies mission and 

 (e) cooperate with State, local, and tribal governments and 
communities with respect to their activities that take place in, or 
affect the area around, an American Heritage River;

 (f) commit to a policy, as set forth in section 1(j) of this order, 
in making decisions affecting the quality of an American Heritage 

 (g) provide, once a river is designated an American Heritage River and 
at the community's request, a single representative called a "River 
Navigator" with whom communities can communicate goals and needs and 
who will facilitate community-agency interchange;

 (h) allow public access to the river, for agencies with facilities 
along American Heritage Rivers, to the extent practicable and 
consistent with their mission; and   

 (i)  cooperate, as appropriate, with communities on projects that 
protect or preserve stretches of the river that are on Federal property 
or adjacent to a Federal facility.

 Sec.  5.  Responsibilities of the Committee and the Council on 
Environmental Quality.  The CEQ shall serve as Executive agent for 
the Committee, and the CEQ and the Committee shall ensure the 
implementation of the policies and purposes of this initiative.

 Sec. 6.  Definition.  For the purposes of this order, Executive 
agency means any agency on the Committee and such other agency as 
may be designated by the President.

 Sec. 7.  Judicial Review.  This order does not create any right or 
benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against 
the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers 
or employees, or any other person.


      September 11, 1997.

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