VENTANA WILD RIVERS PROPOSAL
the management plan. The process for developing comprehensive river management plans includes extensive public input.
Many protected rivers have private lands or inholdings within their corridors. Federal designation confers no additional authority over private lands or local land use, except to prohibit or limit federal permits or support for dams, diversions, and other water resource projects. Local zoning and land use regulations still apply to all private lands on protected rivers. Local governments may but are not required to adopt zoning and land use regulations that are complementary to the purposes of federal designation.
Federal agencies may pay fair market value to acquire private property from willing sellers along designated rivers. No private lands have ever been condemned on a Wild & Scenic River in California. Federal condemnation authority on designated rivers is actually limited in comparison to pre-designation authority. Fee title condemnation is prohibited if 50 percent or more of the designated river corridor is already public land. Scenic easements may be condemned to prevent inappropriate development along protected rivers. All of the rivers proposed for designation in the Ventana Wild Rivers Campaign are more than 50 percent public. But as a practical matter, the use of condemnation is limited because it is politically unpopular and most federal agencies do not have funding to condemn private property.