Scenic Waterways

ORS 390.815

  • establishment of system

The people of Oregon find that many of the free-flowing rivers of Oregon and Waldo Lake and lands adjacent to such lake and rivers possess outstanding scenic, fish, wildlife, geological, botanical, historic, archaeologic, and outdoor recreation values of present and future benefit to the public. The people of Oregon also find that the policy of permitting construction of dams and other impoundment facilities at appropriate sections of the rivers of Oregon and Waldo Lake needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve Waldo Lake and selected rivers or sections thereof in a free-flowing condition and would protect and preserve the natural setting and water quality of the lake and such rivers and fulfill other conservation purposes. It is therefore the policy of Oregon to preserve for the benefit of the public Waldo Lake and selected parts of the state’s free-flowing rivers. For these purposes there is established an Oregon Scenic Waterways System to be composed of areas designated in accordance with ORS 390.805 (Definitions for ORS 390.805 to 390.925) to 390.925 (Enforcement) and any subsequent Acts. [1971 c.1 §1; 1983 c.334 §2]

Law Review Citations

4 EL 301 (1974)

§§ 390.805 to 390.925

Notes of Decisions

An easement is not involved in the state's right under these sections to regulate use of related adjacent land, but an easement is an additional right which the state may acquire by purchase or gift. Scott v. State Hwy. Comm., 23 Or App 99, 541 P2d 516 (1975)

Time factors involved are not designed to freeze land values to subsidize later acquisition by the state, nor do they impose unreasonable restraints upon landowners. Scott v. State Hwy. Comm., 23 Or App 99, 541 P2d 516 (1975)

The regulatory provisions are separate from the provisions giving the state the right to acquire land or interests in related adjacent land, and the state does not gain an interest in land by the adoption of the Act. Scott v. State Hwy. Comm., 23 Or App 99, 541 P2d 516 (1975)

The state's power to regulate is analogous to zoning restrictions and therefore the state does not acquire an interest for which compensation must be paid. Scott v. State Hwy. Comm., 23 Or App 99, 541 P2d 516 (1975)

Where water would otherwise flow through scenic waterway, provisions of Scenic Waterways Act requiring showing that proposed diversion was necessary to beneficial use applied to proposed diversion in city's application for permit to operate hydroelectric facility. Diack v. City of Portland, 306 Or 287, 759 P2d 1070 (1988)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Prohibition of landfills on scenic waterways, (1971) Vol 35, p 844; authority to designate segment of Snake River as a scenic waterway, (1972) Vol 35, p 1226; definition and regulation of "placer mining," (1982) Vol. 42, p 213

Law Review Citations

4 EL 299-303, 373-376 (1974); 19 EL 841 (1989); 21 EL 133 (1991); 29 WLR 95 (1993)


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Jun. 26, 2021