(a)  The management of a natural river area shall give primary emphasis to protecting the values which make it outstanding while providing river related outdoor recreation opportunities in a natural setting:

(1)           No dredging or sand and gravel operations shall be permitted.

(2)           Felled trees that partially block passage down the river or obstruct stream flow may be removed.

(3)           No clearcutting of trees shall be allowed on lands owned by the state and designated as a natural river area.

(4)           No streamside trees providing shade to the river shall be cut unless they present a hazard to public health and safety.

(b)  Reasonable restraints on allowable volumes of use may be employed.

(c)  Facilities

(1)           Existing structures that are not harmonious with the natural character of the area shall be screened or made more harmonious.

(2)           New structures shall be prohibited unless they are clearly in keeping with the natural river area classification and management objectives and conform with the approved management plan for the area.

(3)           Management facilities may be permitted if no significant adverse effect occurs to the natural character of the area.

(4)           Adequate parking, launch ramps, and information displays may be provided at the beginning and at the end of designated natural river segments.

(5)           Recreation Facilities

(A)          Low density day use and, where necessary, primitive overnight use, are permissible.

(B)          Major public use areas, such as campgrounds, interpretative centers, or administrative headquarters shall be located outside of, but adjacent to, natural river areas.

(C)          Simple comfort and convenience facilities, such as fireplaces, potable water, shelters, toilets, and where necessary, primitive camping facilities may be provided at certain selected points within natural river areas for recreation users to the extent that they are necessary to provide an enjoyable experience, protect popular sites, and meet the management objectives.

(d)  Recreation activities that may be consistent with the management of a natural river area in the system are:

(1)           hiking, defined as foot travel on trails which can be traversed in one day or less;  Ideally, these trails should be loop trails with some shelter.  Loop trails of one‑half mile to two miles may be used for interpretative purposes;

(2)           backpacking;

(3)           horseback riding on trails parallel to and along a designated river area;

(4)           boating, which may include tubing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and power boating; However, power boating may be restricted by such means as limitations on engine size and limitations of use at specified times and at specified places;

(5)           swimming;

(6)           hunting and fishing, where consistent with state regulations.

(e)  Access

(1)           Direct river access shall be provided and occur only at the beginning and end of designated natural rivers or segments.

(2)           Perpendicular side trails may provide non‑vehicular river access at intermediate points along the river or segment.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B-135.156;

Eff. April 4, 1979;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 12F .0303 Eff. April 1, 2017.