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Executive Order 13061

Issued by William J. Clinton on Thursday 11 September 1997

Federal Support of Community Efforts Along American Heritage Rivers

Federal Register, Volume 62 Issue 178 (Monday, September 15, 1997)

[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 178 (Monday, September 15, 1997)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 48445-48448]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-24591]

[[Page 48443]]


Part IV

The President


Executive Order 13061--Federal Support of Community Efforts Along 
American Heritage Rivers

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 62, No. 178 / Monday, September 15, 1997 / 
Presidential Documents


Title 3--
The President

[[Page 48445]]

                Executive Order 13061 of September 11, 1997

Federal Support of Community Efforts Along 
                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 governments.
                    (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.

[[Page 48446]]

                    (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 

                Sec. 2. Process for Nominating an American Heritage 

                    (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 following:
                    (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 
                    (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 objectives.
                    (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 
                    (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 

[[Page 48447]]

                    (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 

                    (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 
                    (11) The Chairperson of the National Endowment for 
                the Arts; and
                    (12) The Chairperson of the National Endowment for 
                the Humanities.
                    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 shall:

                    (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 resources;
                    (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;

[[Page 48448]]

                    (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 River;
                    (g) select from among all the agencies a single 
                individual called the ``River Navigator,'' for each 
                river that is designated an American Heritage River, 
                with whom the communities can communicate goals and 
                needs and who will facilitate community-agency 
                    (h) allow public access to the river, for agencies 
                with facilities along American Heritage Rivers, to the 
                extent practicable and consistent with their mission; 
                    (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 

                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.

                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    September 11, 1997.

[FR Doc. 97-24591
Filed 9-12-97; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3195-01-P

Citation: 62 FR 48445
Amended by: EO 13093, July 27, 1998

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