The New York Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act

Strauss, Peter

New York's recently enacted Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act names 18 stretches of river, approximating 165 miles, for immediate special measures of preservation and enhancement of natural values, and orders study of a more extensive network of streams for possible addition to the system. Over 80 per cent of the lands bordering the named rivers are state-owned; as to them, the Act is principally interesting as an imaginative conservation effort by a state which traditionally has given its forest lands a high measure of protection. Where private lands border the rivers, however, the statute provides for use restrictions so severe in some cases that many might conclude they must be purchased through condemnation proceedings.
Yet the Act provides for the payment of "just compensation" only if an existing use is to be restricted. Whether this provision is sufficient and, if not, what remedies ought to be given are the central concerns of this comment.

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Urban Law Annual

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Washington University in St. Louis
Published Here
May 24, 2016