Section .0100 ‑ General Provisions

Link to law: http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title 15a - environmental quality/chapter 12 - parks and recreation area rules/subchapter f/subchapter f rules.html
Published: 2015

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SUBCHAPTER 12F ‑ NATURAL AND SCENIC RIVERS PROGRAM

 

SECTION .0100 ‑ GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0101        STATEMENT OF POLICY

15A NCAC 12F .0102        STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

15A NCAC 12F .0103        DEFINITIONS

15A NCAC 12F .0104        LOCATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑31; 113A‑32;

113A‑35; 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Repealed Eff. October 1, 1984.

 

 

 

SECTION .0200 ‑ CRITERIA FOR

CLASSIFICATION AND DESIGNATION

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0201        CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFICATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑34; 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Repealed Eff. October 1, 1984.

 

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0202        CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION

(a)  In addition to the criteria listed in G.S. 113A‑35,

the following criteria for a river to qualify as either natural or scenic shall

apply to this Subchapter:

(1)           A river segment should be long enough to provide

a rewarding experience and to encompass a sufficient portion of those features

and processes that make the segment worthy of consideration.  Generally, in

urban areas, any segment included in the rivers system should be at least two

and one‑half miles long.  In non‑urban areas, a segment should be

at least five miles in length.

(2)           Boundaries.  The natural features and

forces necessary for the maintenance of a high quality riverine resource must

be identified, and boundaries should be established to provide for adequate

protection of these features.

(b)  In addition to the criterion set out in Subsection (a)

of this Rule, a river shall meet the following criteria for designation as a

natural river:

(1)           Water Flow

(A)          The river (or segment) must be free from

impoundments including dams, diversion works, artificial constrictions of the

river, rock rip‑rap, concrete blocks, retaining walls, rock filled

gabions, or pilings.  Future dam construction within the river (or segment)

shall be prohibited.

(B)          The infiltration capacity should approximate that of

an undisturbed watershed.

(2)           Public Access

(A)          Public access shall be limited to trails and must be

by foot or non‑powered water craft, except in certain instances,

primarily on coastal waters, where access may be by motorized watercraft.

(B)          Motorized vehicles shall not be visible from the

river and no roads or other provisions for overland motorized travel are

permitted within a narrow incised river valley, or if the river valley is

broad, within one‑fourth mile of, and parallel to, the river bank.  The

presence, however, of inconspicuous roads leading to the river area may be

permissible.

(3)           Environmental Quality

(A)          Natural rivers and adjacent land areas present

natural features and processes essentially undisturbed by man.  Shorelines are

free of habitation and other substantial evidence of man's intrusion, except

that inconspicuous dwellings may be permitted.  Watersheds are natural‑like

in appearance and all conservation methods employed must be in keeping with the

natural river environment.

(B)          Abandoned pasture, old field succession areas

(including early stages), old burns, and relatively unobtrusive forest

management activity areas can be permitted.

(C)          Natural river area designation is enhanced by the

existence of climax species or extremely well developed vegetational

communities, visible indigenous animal species, high water quality, and unique

natural features.

(c)  In addition to the criteria set out in Subsection (a)

of this Rule, a river shall meet the following criteria for designation as a

scenic river:

(1)           Water Flow.  The river (or segment) shall

be largely free of impoundments.  If an impoundment is present, water should

not have the characteristics of impoundment for any significant distance. 

Future dam construction within the segment shall be prohibited.

(2)           Public access to scenic rivers may be by

roads which occasionally bridge the river.  Short stretches of conspicuous or

longer stretches of inconspicuous and well‑screened roads or railroads

paralleling the river area may be permitted.

(3)           Environmental Quality

(A)          Scenic river areas are more amenable to multiple use

than natural river areas.  They are more suited for active and intensive

recreational uses.  However, these uses must be kept within the restraints

imposed by the ability of the resources to support use without degradation.

(B)          Scenic river shorelines and adjacent lands shall be

largely free of structures.  Forested landscapes mixed with dispersed

agricultural uses and rural dwellings or settlements, including low density

vacation homes, are characteristic of scenic river areas.  Small communities or

any concentration of habitation should be limited to relatively short

stretches.  Indigenous construction materials are preferred.  Farming, timber

harvest, and similar resource use is permissible if accomplished without a

substantially adverse effect on natural appearance.

(C)          Acceptable erosion control devices, in accordance

with the Sedimentation and Pollution Control Act, must be installed.

(D)          Occasional utility easements, perpendicular to the

river course, may be permitted.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑31; 113A‑35;

113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Amended Eff. August 1, 1988; January 1, 1985; October 1,

1984.

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION .0300 ‑ CRITERIA FOR MANAGEMENT

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0301        GENERAL POLICY

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Repealed Eff. October 1, 1984.

 

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0302        NATURAL AND SCENIC RIVERS

Specifications for natural and scenic rivers:

(1)           Rules, regulations, policies and procedures may be

enforced only in areas to which the state has either prior jurisdiction or fee

simple possession.

(2)           Policies and procedures can be enforced in areas in

which the state has acquired an easement, but only through the terms found in

the deed of easement.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979.

 

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0303        MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RIVER AREAS

(a)  The management of a natural river area shall give

primary emphasis to protecting the values which make it outstanding while

providing river related outdoor recreation opportunities in a natural setting:

(1)           No dredging or sand and gravel operations

shall be permitted.

(2)           Felled trees that partially block passage

down the river or obstruct stream flow may be removed.

(3)           No clearcutting of trees shall be allowed

on lands owned by the state and designated as a natural river area.

(4)           No streamside trees providing shade to the

river shall be cut unless they present a hazard to public health and safety.

(b)  Reasonable restraints on allowable volumes of use may

be employed.

(c)  Facilities

(1)           Existing structures that are not harmonious

with the natural character of the area shall be screened or made more

harmonious.

(2)           New structures shall be prohibited unless

they are clearly in keeping with the natural river area classification and

management objectives and conform with the approved management plan for the

area.

(3)           Management facilities may be permitted if

no significant adverse effect occurs to the natural character of the area.

(4)           Adequate parking, launch ramps, and

information displays may be provided at the beginning and at the end of

designated natural river segments.

(5)           Recreation Facilities

(A)          Low density day use and, where necessary, primitive

overnight use, are permissible.

(B)          Major public use areas, such as campgrounds,

interpretative centers, or administrative headquarters shall be located outside

of, but adjacent to, natural river areas.

(C)          Simple comfort and convenience facilities, such as

fireplaces, potable water, shelters, toilets, and where necessary, primitive

camping facilities may be provided at certain selected points within natural

river areas for recreation users to the extent that they are necessary to

provide an enjoyable experience, protect popular sites, and meet the management

objectives.

(d)  Recreation activities that may be consistent with the

management of a natural river area in the system are:

(1)           hiking, defined as foot travel on trails

which can be traversed in one day or less;  Ideally, these trails should be

loop trails with some shelter.  Loop trails of one‑half mile to two miles

may be used for interpretative purposes;

(2)           backpacking;

(3)           horseback riding on trails parallel to and

along a designated river area;

(4)           boating, which may include tubing,

kayaking, canoeing, rafting and power boating; However, power boating may be

restricted by such means as limitations on engine size and limitations of use

at specified times and at specified places;

(5)           swimming;

(6)           hunting and fishing, where consistent with

state regulations.

(e)  Access

(1)           Direct river access shall be provided and

occur only at the beginning and end of designated natural rivers or segments.

(2)           Perpendicular side trails may provide non‑vehicular

river access at intermediate points along the river or segment.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979.

 

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0304        MANAGEMENT OF SCENIC RIVER AREAS

(a)  A scenic river area shall be managed so as to maintain

and provide outdoor recreation opportunities in the near‑natural

setting.  Diversity and volume of recreational use will dictate more intensive

management practices on segments designated as scenic.

(b)  Reasonable restraints on allowable volumes of use may

be employed.

(c)  Facilities

(1)           Facilities at access points may include any

of those allowed at public access on natural rivers listed in Rule .0303(c) of

this Section plus campgrounds, interpretative, and administrative facilities.

(2)           Scenic rivers can have roads paralleling

some portions of the river.  Where such roads are public, they may be

designated as scenic roads.  Overlooks, roadside  picnic areas, and undeveloped

tent and trailer camping facilities may be developed.

(3)           Recreational Facilities

(A)          Boating facilities shall be similar to those found

on natural river areas listed in Rule .0303(c) of this Section.

(B)          Bicycle Facilities

(i)            Bicycle rest areas may be provided and may be

in conjunction with roadside picnic areas, overlooks, and rest stops for other

activities.

(ii)           Overnight camping facilities for cyclists may

be provided at appropriate intervals.

(d)  Access

(1)           Direct vehicular access may be permitted at

appropriate points along a scenic river.

(2)           Access facilities for boating and floating

may be permitted at intermediate points along the river.

(3)           Motorized vehicles shall be allowed on

designated sections of the land area.

(e)  Activities.  Activities consistent with the management

of a scenic river in the system are the same as those for a natural river area

listed in Rule .0303(c) of this Section plus scenic driving and bicycling.

(f)  Integrated public and private investments on designated

scenic river areas shall be encouraged.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979.

 

 

 

 

SECTION .0400 ‑ PROCEDURES LEADING TO THE INCLUSION OF

RIVERS IN THE SYSTEM

 

15A NCAC 12F .0401        PROCEDURES LEADING TO DESIGNATION

15A NCAC 12F .0402        SCHEDULE OF RIVERS FOR STUDY

15A NCAC 12F .0403        STUDY TEAM

15A NCAC 12F .0404        LOCAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑36;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Repealed Eff. October 1, 1984.

 

 

SECTION .0500 ‑ ACQUISITION OF LANDS FOR THE SYSTEM

 

 

15A NCAC 12F .0501        ACQUISITION

15A NCAC 12F .0502        AUTHORIZATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑36; 113A‑38;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Repealed Eff. October 1, 1984.