Laws & Policies
To Protect Visitors and Resources: Policies and Regulations
There are a variety of documents that guide the management of Bluestone National Scenic River, Gauley River National Recreation Area,and New River Gorge National River. Many documents, like the National Environmental Policy Act, articulate legal requirements to which federal entities must adhere. Other documents, like the park's General Management Plan and Superintendent's Compendium, are formal documents that create a "contract" between New River Gorge National River and the public. Still others, like Director's and Superintendent Orders, direct how New River Gorge and other national park units will operate.
The information available in this section will allow you to become more aware of park implementation plans and of how park operations are structured toward success in achieving the NPS mission of preserving unimpaired park resources for the enjoyment of future generations.These pages also include specific regulations on a variety of activities within the park.
Many laws, including the 1916 Organic Act that created the National Park Service, affect all areas managed by the National Park Service.
The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010.
Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws.
The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting.
Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances.
For more information
For information concerning the park compendium, or to request supporting documents and maps, contact -
Permits Office: 304-465-6517
Park Headquarters: 304-465-0508
Did You Know?
The Gauley River has cut a gorge of up to 500 feet deep in places. Within the gorge, the river is characterized by alternating pools and rapids with torrential water, boulders and exposed bedrock.