Here are a few additional documents on the National Blueway.
First, th President’s Memorandum for AGO (America’s Great Outdoors):
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL
THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
SUBJECT: A 21st Century Strategy for America’s Great Outdoors
Americans are blessed with a vast and varied natural heritage. From mountains to deserts and from sea to shining sea, America’s great outdoors have shaped the rugged independence and sense of community that define the American spirit. Our working landscapes, cultural sites, parks, coasts, wild lands, rivers, and streams are gifts that we have inherited from previous generations. They are the places that offer us refuge from daily demands, renew our spirits, and enhance our fondest
memories, whether they are fishing with a grandchild in a favorite spot, hiking a trail with a friend, or enjoying a family picnic in a neighborhood park. They also are our farms, ranches, and forests — the working lands that have fed and sustained us for generations. Americans take pride in these places, and share a responsibility to preserve them for our children and grandchildren.
Today, however, we are losing touch with too many of the places and proud traditions that have helped to make America special. Farms, ranches, forests, and other valuable natural resources are disappearing at an alarming rate. Families are spending less time together enjoying their natural surroundings. Despite our conservation efforts, too many of our fields are becoming fragmented, too many of our rivers and streams are becoming polluted, and we are losing our connection to the parks, wild places, and open spaces we grew up with and cherish. Children, especially, are spending less time outside running and playing, fishing and hunting, and connecting to the outdoors just down the street or outside of town.
Across America, communities are uniting to protect the places they love, and developing new approaches to saving and enjoying the outdoors. They are bringing together farmers and ranchers, land trusts, recreation and conservation groups, sportsmen, community park groups, governments and industry, and people from
all over the country to develop new partnerships and innovative programs to protect and restore our outdoors legacy. However, these efforts are often scattered and sometimes insufficient. The Federal Government, the Nation’s largest land manager, has a responsibility to engage with these partners to help develop a conservation agenda worthy of the 21st Century. We must look to the private sector and nonprofit organizations, as well as towns, cities, and States, and the people who live and work in them, to identify the places that mean the most to Americans, and leverage the support of the Federal Government to help these community-driven efforts to succeed. Through these partnerships, we will work to connect these outdoor spaces to each other, and to reconnect Americans to them.
For these reasons, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment.
(a) There is established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (Initiative), to be led by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and implemented in coordination with the agencies listed in section 2(b) of this memorandum. The Initiative may include the heads of other executive branch departments, agencies, and offices (agencies) as the President may, from time to time, designate.
(b) The goals of the Initiative shall be to:
(i) Reconnect Americans, especially children, to America’s rivers and waterways, landscapes of national significance, ranches, farms and forests, great parks,
and coasts and beaches by exploring a variety of efforts, including:
(A) promoting community-based recreation and conservation, including local parks, greenways, beaches, and waterways;
(B) advancing job and volunteer opportunities related to conservation and outdoor recreation; and
(C) supporting existing programs and projects that educate and engage Americans in our history, culture, and natural bounty.
(ii) Build upon State, local, private, and tribal priorities for the conservation of land, water, wildlife, historic, and cultural resources, creating corridors and connectivity across these outdoor spaces, and for enhancing neighborhood parks; and determine how the Federal Government can best advance those priorities through public private partnerships and locally supported conservation strategies.
(iii) Use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.
Sec. 2. Functions. The functions of the Initiative shall include:
(a) Outreach. The Initiative shall conduct listening and learning sessions around the country where land and waters are being conserved and community parks are being established in innovative ways. These sessions should engage the full range of interested groups, including tribal leaders, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen, community park groups, foresters, youth groups, businesspeople, educators, State and local governments, and recreation and conservation groups. Special attention
should be given to bringing young Americans into the conversation. These listening sessions will inform the reports required in subsection (c) of this section.
(b) Interagency Coordination. The following agencies shall work with the Initiative to identify existing resources and align policies and programs to achieve its goals:
(i) the Department of Defense;
(ii) the Department of Commerce;
(iii) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(iv) the Department of Health and Human Services;
(v) the Department of Labor;
(vi) the Department of Transportation;
(vii) the Department of Education; and
(viii) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
(c) Reports. The Initiative shall submit, through the Chair of the CEQ, the following reports to the President:
(i) Report on America’s Great Outdoors. By November 15, 2010, the Initiative shall submit a report that includes the following:
(A) a review of successful and promising nonfederal conservation approaches;
(B) an analysis of existing Federal resources and programs that could be used to complement those approaches;
(C) proposed strategies and activities to achieve the goals of the Initiative; and
(D) an action plan to meet the goals of the Initiative.
The report should reflect the constraints in resources available in, and be consistent with, the Federal budget. It should recommend efficient and effective use of existing resources, as well as opportunities to leverage nonfederal public and private resources and nontraditional conservation programs.
(ii) Annual reports. By September 30, 2011, and September 30, 2012, the Initiative shall submit reports on its progress in implementing the action plan developed pursuant to subsection (c)(i)(D) of this section.
Sec. 3. General Provisions.
(a) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of any necessary appropriations.
(b) This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(c) The heads of executive departments and agencies shall assist and provide information to the Initiative, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Initiative. Each executive department and agency shall bear its own expenses of participating in the Initiative.
(d) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of the OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(e) The Chair of the CEQ is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
Here is the definition of National Blueway from the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the USDA, Dept of Interior and the Department of the Army (bolding is mine):
“A National Blueway is a designation for nationally significant rivers and their watersheds that
recognizes the economic, recreational, ecological, and cultural value of healthy river systems.
A Watershed designated as a National Blueway employs integrated land and water management
techniques to conserve and restore a river from its headwaters to its mouth, and across its entire
watershed. A large scale is needed, such as the Connecticut River and Watershed National
Blueway, to successfully address 21st century challenges posed by changing patterns of resource
use and climate. National Blueways are intended to achieve a balance between scope, scale, and
national significance while facilitating grassroots stewardship and local leadership from
communities, organizations, and agencies within the watershed, and also remaining relevant and
manageable at the local scale.
A National Blueway is envisioned, planned, and adaptively managed by a diverse stakeholder
partnership among the communities, tribes, organizations, and agencies that are responsible for,
invested in, and committed to the river, watershed, and its array of resources. A National
Blueway designation facilitates communication, cooperation, and collaboration to leverage
resources and magnify the favorable outcomes of land and water management actions. The large
scale of a National Blueway provides a shared context for locally based organizations and
agencies to come together in support of a common vision, goals, and actions within the
In a previous post, I published Salazar’s Secretarial Order #3321. It isn’t the easiest thing to find, but here it is for you. Link here:
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
ORDER NO. 3321
SIGNATURE DATE: May 24, 2012
Subject: Establishment of a National Blueways System
Sec. 1 Purpose. This Order establishes a program to recognize river systems conserved through diverse stakeholder partnerships that use a comprehensive watershed approach to resource stewardship. River systems designated as a National Blueway shall collectively constitute a National Blueways System. The National Blueways System will provide a new national emphasis on the unique value and significance of a “headwaters to mouth” approach to river management and create a mechanism to encourage stakeholders to integrate their land and water stewardship efforts by adopting a watershed approach. This Order also establishes an intra-agency National Blueways Committee to provide leadership, direction, and coordination to the National Blueways System. It further directs the bureaus of the Department of the Interior (Interior) to collaborate in supporting the National Blueways System, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with their missions and resources.
Sec. 2 Background. Rivers play a vital role in connecting Americans with the lands and waters that provide economic, recreational, social, cultural, and ecological value to their communities. Healthy rivers are integral to the quality of life for all Americans and their communities. Resilient rivers and watersheds are essential sources of clean water supplies for rural, agricultural, and urban communities alike. Rivers provide important habitat for fish and wildlife species and act as corridors for their migration and dispersal, providing ecosystem connectivity that supports resilience to environmental change. Rivers support our recreation and tourism economy by providing opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, and numerous other activities. Rivers offer a focal point for environmental education and outreach that helps communities understand and connect with the great outdoors.
Across the Nation, communities of stakeholders have formed partnerships focused on stewardship and sustainability of rivers and their watersheds. When these partnerships work successfully across Federal agencies, with state, local, and tribal governments, and with non-profit organizations, private landowners, and businesses, they are able to accomplish their shared stewardship and conservation objectives. National recognition and Federal agency coordination in support of river systems will inspire and help stakeholders to plan and manage for the resiliency and connectivity of their rivers, to seek cooperation and collaboration among communities and across jurisdictions, and to strive for an integrative, adaptive approach for sustaining the whole river system.
National Blueways will be nationally and regionally significant rivers and their watersheds that are highly valued recreational, social, economic, cultural, and ecological assets for the communities that depend on them. National Blueways encourage a landscape-scale approach to river conservation that involves a river from its headwaters to its mouth and across its watershed, rather than individual segments of the channel and riparian area alone. Establishment of a National Blueways System will help promote best practices, share information and resources, and encourage active and collaborative stewardship of rivers across the country.
Sec. 3 Authority. This Order is issued in accordance with authority provided under the Take Pride in America Act, Public Law 101-628; the Outdoor Recreation Act, Public Law 87-714; and the Cooperative Watershed Management Program of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Public Law 111-11. The bureaus within Interior have a broad panoply of legal authority to carry out their respective missions that support enhancing river recreation, undertaking river restoration, and pursuing river protection initiatives to pass on healthy rivers to future generations. These authorities include the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.; the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956,
16 U.S.C. 742 et seq.; the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.; the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, 16 U.S.C. 4601-4 et seq.; the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, 16 U.S.C. 1271-1287; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 43 U.S.C 1702 et seq.; the Reclamation Act, Public Law 57-161; the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Public Law 111-11; and the National Trails System Act of 1968,
16 U.S.C. 1241 et seq.
Sec. 4 Model National Blueway. I hereby designate the Connecticut River and Watershed as the first National Blueway as a model for future designations. The Connecticut River Watershed exemplifies the National Blueways System with diverse partnerships of interested communities including over 40 partner organizations, protection of over 2 million acres of habitat, environmental and educational efforts aimed at urban and rural populations, and recreational access to the river, its tributaries, and public lands.
Sec. 5 National Blueways Committee. This Order establishes a National Blueways Committee (Committee), to be chaired by the Secretary or his or her designee.
a. Membership. Members of the Committee will include a representative designated by the Directors of the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Commissioner of Reclamation; and a representative designated by the Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget. The Committee may also include representatives of other Federal agencies, whose representatives shall participate through appropriate agreements.
b. Responsibilities. The Committee will:
(i) Oversee the process of National Blueways criteria development, assessment, and designation;
(ii) Make recommendations to the Secretary for the designation of National Blueways;
(iii) Oversee support provided by Interior to designated National Blueways; and
(iv) Report to the Secretary on the progress, accomplishments, opportunities, and challenges of the National Blueways System.
Sec. 6 National Blueways System. The National Blueways System program shall recognize and promote nationally or regionally significant rivers and their watersheds.
a. Nomination. Any established stakeholder partnership may, in collaboration with a sponsoring Federal or state agency, nominate a river and its associated watershed as a proposed National Blueway by submitting an application according to the nomination process and assessment criteria.
- b. Assessment. The assessment criteria will evaluate the intrinsic values a river and its watershed possess and the interested communities’ record of commitment to land and water management practices that provide or maintain outstanding recreational, social, and/or ecological benefits.
- c. Designation. Following consideration of recommendations made by the Committee, the Secretary may designate the river and its associated watershed as a National Blueway that will become part of the National Blueways System.
- d. Alignment. Bureaus within Interior, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with their missions, policies, and resources, shall endeavor to align the execution of agency plans and implementation of agency programs to protect, restore, and enhance the natural, cultural, and/or recreational resources associated with designated National Blueways.
- e. Coordination. Bureaus will coordinate within Interior and with other participating Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies and partners to support designated National Blueways.
- f. Partnerships. Bureaus are encouraged, to the extent permitted by law, to develop partnerships with other federal, state, local, and tribal governments, water and power authorities, and community and non-governmental organizations in support of designated National Blueways. Bureaus will be responsive to the diverse needs of different kinds of communities from, the core of our cities to the 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 other Federal, state, local, and tribal governments. To the extent practicable, Federal resources will be strategically directed to complement resources being spent by these partner entities.
Sec. 7 Disclaimer. Nothing in this Order is intended to authorize or affect the use of private property. Nothing in this Order is intended to be the basis for the exercise of any new regulatory authority, nor shall this initiative or any designation pursuant to this Order affect or interfere with any Federal, state, local, and tribal government jurisdiction or applicable law including interstate compacts relating to water or the laws of any state or tribe relating to the control, appropriation, use or distribution of water or water rights.
Sec. 8 Implementation. The Deputy Secretary is responsible for ensuring the implementation of this Order. Nothing in this Order shall be interpreted as amending, revising, or modifying either Executive Order 13061 of September 11, 1997, entitled, “Federal Support of Community Efforts Along American Heritage Rivers” or Secretarial Order 3319 of February 29, 2012, entitled, “Establishment of a National Water Trails System.”
Sec. 9 Expiration Date. This Order is effective immediately. It shall remain in effect until its provisions are converted to the Departmental Manual or until it is amended, superseded, or revoked, whichever comes first.
/s/ Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
SO #3321 05/24/2012