Soil Erosion Act (1935)
established the Soil Conservation Service, mandates the protection of the nation’s soil reserves, deals with soil erosion problems, carries out soil surveys, does research on soil salinity and provides computer databases for scientific research.
Water Resources and Planning Act (1965)
provided for plans to formulate and evaluate water and related land resource projects and to maintain a continuing assessment of the adequacy of water supplies in the United States.
Coastal Zone Management Act (1972)
provided funds for state planning and management of coastal areas.
Clean Water Act (1972 and 1987 revisions)
was originally passed as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1948), but was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972 revisions (Clean Water Act became its common name in 1977 with amendments). It sets objectives for restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters, regulating discharge of pollutants (like industrial wastewater standards and permit requirements on any point source pollution into navigable waters). It also sets standards on “all contaminants” in surface waters (according to the EPA) and requires federal agencies to avoid adverse impacts from modification or destruction of navigable streams and associated tributaries, wetlands or other waters.
Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)
was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the USA. It focuses on ground or underground sources of water.
Water Resources Development Act (1986)
established and maintains dam safety programs.
National Estuary Program (1987)
meant to identify, restore and protect nationally significant estuaries.
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Control Act (FIFRA, 1947)
regulates the manufacture and use of pesticides. Pesticides must be registered and approved. Labels require directions for use and disposal.
Federal Environmental Pesticides Control Act (1972)
requires registration of all pesticides in US commerce.
Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA, 1996)
emphasizes the protection of infants and children in reference to pesticide residue in food.
Forest Reserve Act (1891)
gave the president authority to establish forest reservations from public domain lands.
Multiple Use and sustained Yield Act (1960, 1968)
directs the US Secretary of Agriculture to manage national forests for recreation, wildlife habitat, and timber production through principles of multiple use and sustained yield.
Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA, 1976)
along with the Taylor Grazing Act, outlines policy concerning the use and preservation of public lands in the US. It grants federal government jurisdiction on consequences of mining on public lands and responsibility to manage all public lands not within national forests or parks to the Bureau of Land Management, part of the Department of the Interior.
Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (FRRRPA, 1976)
is also known as the National Forest Management Act (1976) and requires the secretary of agriculture to develop a management program for national forest lands based on multiple-use and sustained yield principles. It also addresses timber-harvesting rates, methods and locations.
National Forests Management Act (1976)
authorized the creation and use of a special fund in situations involving the salvage of insect-infested, dead, damaged or downed timber and to remove associated trees for stand improvement.
Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA, 1974)
mandates periodic assessments of forests and rangelands in the US and directs that these assessments be conducted by the US Forest Service and consider a broad range of renewable resources, including outdoor recreation, fish, wildlife, water, range, timber and minerals.
Public Rangelands Improvement Act (1978)
established and reaffirmed a commitment to manage, maintain and improve rangelands so that they become as productive as feasible.
Taylor Grazing Act (1934)
requires grazing permits on federal land.
Yellowstone National Park Act (1872)
preserves the watershed of the Yellowstone River “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” For the first time, public lands were preserved for public enjoyment and were to be administered by the federal government.
National Park Service Act (1916)
established that national parks are to be maintained in a manner that leaves them unimpaired for future generations and established the National Park Service to manage the parks.
Outdoor Recreation Act (1963)
laid out the Interior Department’s role as coordinator of all federal agencies for programs affecting the conservation and development of recreation resources.
Wilderness Act (1964)
defined wilderness was defined by its lack of noticeable human modification or presence and requires federal officials to manage wilderness areas in a manner conducive to retention of their wilderness character.
Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (1965)
established a fund, administered by the National Park Service, to assist the states and federal agencies in meeting present and future outdoor recreation demands and needs of the American people.
National Trails System Act (1968)
established a national system of recreational, scenic and historic trails.
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968)
established a system of areas distinct from the traditional park concept to ensure the protection of each river’s unique environment, also preserves certain selected rivers that possess outstanding scenic, recreational, geological, cultural, or historic values and maintains their free-flowing condition.
General Mining Law (1872)
grants free access to individuals and corporations to prospect for minerals in public domain lands and allows them, upon making a discovery, to stake a claim on that deposit.
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (1977)
established a program for regulating surface coal mining and reclamation activities.
Fish and Wildlife Act (1956)
established a comprehensive national fish and shellfish resource policy directed primarily to industry.
Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (1980)
provides assistance in training state fish and wildlife enforcement personnel and to states in the development and revision of conservation plans for nongame fish and wildlife.
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001)
committed countries to reduce and/or eliminate the production, use and/or release of twelve persistent organic pollutants of greatest concern (e.g. PCBs) and to establish a mechanism by which additional chemicals may be added to the treaty in the future.

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