Secretarial Order to Establish National Blueways

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Agenda 21/Sustainable Development, Agriculture, Water Issues

This wasn’t super easy to find, but I finally found it! Here is the “Secretarial Fiat” used by Salazar to give proper weight to the Blueways:


Secretarial Order 3312, May 24th, 2012


ORDER NO. 3321

SIGNATURE DATE: May 24, 2012

Subject: Establishment of a National Blueways System

Sec. 1 . 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 . 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 . 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.

Model National Blueway
Sec. 4 . 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.

National Blueways Committee
Sec. 5 . 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

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