Enabling Legislation: National Wild and Scenic Rivers System
The Lamprey River is an official Wild and Scenic River as designated by the US Congress. Enacted in 1968, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (P.L. 90-542, as amended) was created to balance long-standing federal policies promoting construction of dams, levees, and other river development projects with one that would permanently preserve selected rivers, or river segments, in their free-flowing condition.
Section 1(b) of the Act states:
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in their free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The original Act designated eight rivers into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and specified processes by which other rivers could be added to the system. As of April 2019, 226 rivers or river segments totaling 13,412. miles had been included in the national system. Of the designated segments, only about a dozen are located in New England.