resources_header

 

 

Eastern Wilderness Areas Act
January 3, 1975
P.L. 93-622, 88 Stat. 2096; 16 U.S.C. 1132
Findings and Declaration of Policy

Sec. 2. (a) The Congress finds that–
(1) in the more populous eastern half of the United States there is an urgent need to
identify, study, designate, and preserve areas for addition to the National Wilderness
Preservation System;
(2) in recognition of this urgent need, certain areas of the National Forest System in the
eastern half of the United States were designated by the Congress as wilderness in the
Wilderness Act (78 Stat. 890); certain areas in the National Wildlife Refuge system in the eastern
half of the United States have been designated by the Congress as wilderness or recommended
by the President for such designation, and certain areas of the National Park System in the
eastern half of the United States have been recommended by the President for designation as
wilderness; and
(3) additional areas of wilderness in the more populous eastern half of the United States
are increasingly threatened by the pressure of a growing and more mobile population, large-scale
industrial and economic growth, and development and uses inconsistent with the protection,
maintenance, and enhancement of the areas’ wilderness character.
(b) Therefore, the Congress finds and declares that it is in the national interest that these
and similar areas in the eastern half of the United States be promptly designated as wilderness
with the National Wilderness Preservation System, in order to preserve such areas as an enduring
resource of wilderness which shall be managed to promote and perpetuate the wilderness
character of the land and its specific values of solitude, physical and mental challenge, scientific
study, inspiration, and primitive recreation for the benefit of all the American people of present
and future generations. (16 U.S.C. 1132(note))

Designation of Wilderness Areas
Sec. 3. (a) In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act, the following lands (hereinafter
in this Act referred to as “wilderness areas”), as generally depicted on maps appropriately
referenced, dated April 1974, are hereby designated as wilderness and, therefore, as components
of the National Wilderness Preservation System—
(1) certain lands in the Bankhead National Forest, Alabama, which comprise about
twelve thousand acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Sipsey Wilderness Area–
Proposed”, and shall be known as the Sipsey Wilderness;
(2) certain lands in the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas, which comprise about
fourteen thousand four hundred and thirty-three acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Caney Creek Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Caney Creek Wilderness;
(3) certain lands in the Ozark National Forest, Arkansas, which comprise about ten
thousand five hundred and ninety acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Upper Buffalo
Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Upper Buffalo Wilderness;
(4) certain lands in the Appalachicola National Forest, Florida, which comprise about
twenty-two thousand acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Bradwell Bay Wilderness
Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Bradwell Bay Wilderness;
(5) certain lands in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky, which comprise about
five thousand five hundred acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Beaver Creek
Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Beaver Creek Wilderness;
(6) certain lands in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, which
comprise about twenty thousand three hundred and eighty acres, are generally depicted on a map
entitled “Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the
Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness;
(7) certain lands in the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forest, North Carolina and
Tennessee, which comprise about fifteen thousand acres, are generally depicted on a map
entitled “Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Joyce
Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness;
(8) certain lands in the Sumter, Nantahala, and Chattahoochee National Forests, South
Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, which comprise about three thousand six hundred acres,
are generally depicted on a map entitled “Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be
known as the Ellicott Rock Wilderness;
(9) certain lands in the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee, which comprise about two
thousand five hundred and seventy acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Gee Creek
Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Gee Creek Wilderness;
(10) certain lands in the Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont, which comprise
about six thousand five hundred acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Bristol Cliffs
Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Bristol Cliffs Wilderness;
(11) certain lands in the Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont, which comprise
about fourteen thousand three hundred acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Lye
Brook Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Lye Brook Wilderness;
(12) certain lands in the Jefferson National Forest, Virginia, which comprise about eight
thousand eight hundred acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “James River Face
Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the James River Face Wilderness;
(13) certain lands in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia, which comprise
about ten thousand two hundred and fifteen acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Dolly Sods Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Dolly Sods Wilderness;
(14) certain lands in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia, which comprise
about twenty thousand acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Otter Creek Wilderness
Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Otter Creek Wilderness;
(15) certain lands in the Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin, which comprise
about six thousand six hundred acres, are generally depicted on a map entitled “Rainbow Lake
Wilderness Area–Proposed”, and shall be known as the Rainbow Lake Wilderness.
(b) In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act, the following lands (hereinafter
referred to as “wilderness areas”), as generally depicted on maps appropriately referenced, dated
April 1973, are hereby designated as wilderness and, therefore, as components of the National
Wilderness Preservation System: certain lands in the Chattahoochie and Cherokee National
Forests, Georgia and Tennessee, which comprise about thirty-four thousand five hundred acres,
are generally depicted on a map dated April 1973, entitles “Cohutta Wilderness Area–Proposed”
and shall be known as the Cohutta Wilderness. (16 U.S.C. 1132(note))

Designation of Wilderness Study Areas
Sec. 4. (a) In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act and in accordance with
the provisions of subsection 3(d) of that Act, the Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to
as the “Secretary”) shall review, as to its suitability or nonsuitability for preservation as
wilderness, each area designated by or pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and report his
findings to the President. The President shall advise the United States Senate and House of
Representatives of his recommendations with respect to the designation of wilderness of each
such area on which the review had been completed.
(b) Areas to be reviewed pursuant to this section (hereinafter referred to as “wilderness
areas”), as generally depicted on maps appropriately referenced, dated April 1974, include—
(1) certain lands in the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas, which comprise
approximately five thousand seven hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Belle Starr Cave Wilderness Study Area”;
(2) certain lands in the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas, which comprise
approximately five thousand five hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Dry Creek Wilderness Study Area”;
(3) certain lands in the Ozark National Forest, Arkansas, which comprise approximately
two thousand one hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled “Richland Creek
Wilderness Study Area”;
(4) certain lands in the Appalachicola National Forest, Florida, which comprise
approximately one thousand one hundred acres and are generally depicted as the “Sopchoppy
River Wilderness Study Area” on a map entitled “Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area–Proposed”;
(5) certain lands in the Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan, which comprise
approximately five thousand four hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Rock River Canyon Wilderness Study Area”;
(6) certain lands in the Ottawa National Forest, Michigan, which comprise approximately
thirteen thousand two hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled “Sturgeon
River Wilderness Study Area”;
(7) certain lands in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina, which comprise
approximately one thousand one hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Craggy Mountain Wilderness Study Area”;
(8) certain lands in the Francis Marion National Forest, South Carolina, which comprise
approximately one thousand five hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Wambaw Swamp Wilderness Study Area”;
(9) certain lands in the Jefferson National Forest, Virginia, which comprise
approximately four thousand acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled “Mill Creek
Wilderness Study Area”;
(10) certain lands in the Jefferson National Forest, Virginia, which comprise
approximately eight thousand four hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Mountain Lake Wilderness Study Area”;
(11) certain lands in the Jefferson National Forest, Virginia, which comprise
approximately five thousand acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled “Peters Mountain
Wilderness Study Area”;
(12) certain lands in the George Washington National Forest, Virginia, which comprise
approximately six thousand seven hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness Study Area”;
(13) certain lands in the Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin, which comprise
approximately six thousand three hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Flynn Lake Wilderness Study Area”;
(14) certain lands in the Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin, which comprise
approximately four thousand two hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Round Lake Wilderness Study Area”;
(15) certain lands in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia, which comprise
approximately thirty-six thousand three hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map
entitled “Cranberry Wilderness Study Area”;
(16) certain lands in the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee, which comprise
approximately four thousand five hundred acres and are generally depicted on a map entitled
“Big Frog Wilderness Study Area”;
(17) certain lands in the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee, which comprise
approximately fourteen thousand acres and are generally depicted as the “Citico Creek Area” on
a map entitled “Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area–Proposed”;
(c) Reviews shall be completed and the President shall make his recommendations to
Congress with five years after enactment of this Act.
(d) Congress may, upon the recommendations of the Secretary of Agriculture or
otherwise, designate as study areas, National Forest System lands east of the 100th meridian
other than those specified in subsection (b) of this section, for review as to suitability or
nonsuitability for preservation as wilderness. Any such area subsequently designated as a
wilderness study area after the enactment of this Act shall have its suitability or nonsuitability for
preservation as wilderness submitted to Congress within ten years from the date of designation as
a wilderness study area. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as limiting the authority of the
Secretary of Agriculture to carry out management programs, development, and activities in
accordance with the Multiple-Use, Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (74 Stat. 215, 16 U.S.C. 528-
531) within areas not designated for review in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(e) Nothing herein contained shall limit the President in proposing, as part of his
recommendations to Congress, the alteration of existing boundaries of any wilderness study area
or recommending the addition to any such area of any contiguous area predominantly of
wilderness value. Any recommendation of the President of the effect that such area or portion
thereof should be designated as “wilderness” shall become effective only if so provided by an
Act of Congress. (16 U.S.C. 1132; 1132(note))

Filing of Maps and Descriptions
Sec. 5. As soon as is practicable after enactment of this Act, a map of each wilderness
study area and a map and legal description of each wilderness area shall be filed with the
Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs and on Agriculture of the United States Senate and
House of Representatives, and each such map and description shall have the same force and
effect as if included in this Act: Provided, however, That correction of clerical and typographical
errors in each such legal description and map may be made. Each such map and legal description
shall be on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief of the Forest
Service, Department of Agriculture.

Managing Study Areas to Preserve Wilderness Character
Sec. 6. (a) Except as other wise provided by this Act, the wilderness areas designated by
or pursuant to this Act shall be managed by the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with the
provisions of the Wilderness Act. The wilderness study areas designated by or pursuant to this
Act shall–be managed by the Secretary of Agriculture so as to maintain their presently existing
wilderness character and potential for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation system
until Congress has determined otherwise, except that such management requirement shall in no
case extend beyond the expiration of the third succeeding Congress from the date of submission
to the Congress of the President’s recommendations concerning the particular study area.
(b) Within the sixteen wilderness areas designated by section 3 of this Act:
(1) The Secretary of Agriculture may acquire by purchase with donated or appropriated
funds, by gift, exchange, condemnation, or otherwise, such lands, waters, or interests therein as
he determines necessary or desirable for the purposes of this Act. All lands acquired under the
provisions of this subsection shall become National Forest lands and a part of the Wilderness
System;
(2) in exercising the exchange authority granted in paragraph (1), the Secretary of
Agriculture may accept title to non-Federal property for federally owned property of
substantially equal value, or if not of substantially equal value, the value shall be equalized by
the payment of money to the grantor or to the Secretary as the circumstances require;
(3) the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to condemn any private land or interest
therein within any wilderness area designated by or pursuant to this Act shall not be invoked so
long as the owner or owners of such land or interest holds and uses it in the same manner and for
those purposes for which land or interest was held on the date of the designation of the
wilderness area, Provided, however, That the Secretary of Agriculture may acquire such land or
interest without consent of the owner or owners whenever he finds such use to be incompatible
with the management of such area as wilderness and the owner or owners manifest
unwillingness, and subsequently fail, to promptly discontinue such incompatible use;
(4) at least 60 days prior to any transfer by exchange, sale, or otherwise (except by
bequest) of such lands or interest therein described in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the owner
or owners of such lands or interests therein shall provide notice of such transfer to the supervisor
of the National Forest concerned, in accordance with such rules and regulations as the Secretary
of Agriculture may promulgate;
(5) at least sixty days prior to any change in the use of such lands or interests therein
described in paragraph (3) of this subsection which will result in any significant new
construction or disturbance of land surface or flora or will require use of motor vehicles and
other forms of mechanized transport or motorized equipment (except as otherwise authorized by
law for ingress or egress or for existing agricultural activities begun before the date of
designation other than timber cutting), the owner or owners of such lands or interests therein
shall provide notice of such change in use to the supervisor of the National Forest within such
lands are located, in accordance with such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Agriculture
may promulgate;
(6) for the purposes of paragraph (7) and (8) of this subsection, the term “property” shall
mean a detached noncommercial residential dwelling, the construction of which was begun
before the date of the designation of the wilderness area (hereinafter referred to as “dwelling”),
or an existing agricultural activity begun before the date of the designation of the wilderness
area, other than timber cutting (hereinafter referred to as “agricultural activity”), together with so
much of the land on which the dwelling or agricultural activity is situated, such land being in the
same ownership as the dwelling or agricultural activity, as the Secretary of Agriculture shall
determine to be necessary for the enjoyment of the dwelling for the sole purpose of
noncommercial residential use or for the agricultural activity, together with any structures
accessory to the dwelling or agricultural activity which are situated on the land so designated;
(7) any owner or owners of property on the date of its acquisition by the Secretary of
Agriculture may, as a condition of such acquisition, retain for themselves and their successors or
assigns a right of use and occupancy of the property for such noncommercial residential purpose
or agricultural activity for twenty-five years, or, in lieu thereof, for a term ending at the death of
the owner or his spouse, whichever is later. The owner shall elect the term to be reserved. The
Secretary of Agriculture shall pay to the owner fair market value of the property on the date of
such acquisition less the fair market value on such date of the right retained by the owner:
Provided, That whenever an owner of property elects to retain a right of use and occupancy as
provided for in this section, such owner shall be deemed to have waived any benefits or rights
accruing under sections 203, 204, 205, and 206 of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real
Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1894), and for the purpose of those sections
such owner shall not be considered a displaced person as defined in section 101(6) of that Act;
and
(8) a right of use and occupancy retained or enjoyed pursuant to paragraph (7) of this
subsection may be terminated with respect to the entire property by the Secretary of Agriculture
upon his determination that the property or any portion thereof has ceased to be used for such
noncommercial residential purpose or agricultural activity and upon tender to the holder of a
right an amount equal to the fair market value as of the date of tender of the portion of the right
which remains unexpired on the date of termination. (16 U.S.C. 1131(note))

Transfer of Jurisdiction
Sec. 7. The head of any federal department or agency having jurisdiction over any lands
or interests in lands within the boundaries of wilderness areas and wilderness study areas
designated by or pursuant to this Act is authorized to transfer to the Secretary jurisdiction over
such lands for administration in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Limitation of the 100th Meridian
Sec. 8. Unless otherwise provided by any other Act the provisions of this Act shall only
apply to National Forest areas east of the 100th meridian.

Authorization of Appropriations
Sec. 9. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated an amount not to exceed
$5,000,000 for the acquisition by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise of lands, waters, or
interests therein located in areas designated as wilderness pursuant to section 3 of this Act and an
amount not to exceed $1,700,000 for the purpose of conducting a review of wilderness study
areas designated by section 4 of this Act.

 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.