Laws are created by Congress and establish the highest order of legal authority over national parks. Many laws, including the 1916 Organic Act that created the National Park Service, affect all areas managed by the National Park Service. Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River legislation is listed in the 1968 Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and Amendments.
There are a variety of documents that guide the management of the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River. Many documents, like the National Environmental Policy Act, articulate legal requirements that federal entities must adhere to. Other documents, like the park's General Management Plan and Superintendent's Compendium, are formal documents that create a "contract" between Big Bend National Park and Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River and the public. Still others, like Director's and Superintendent Orders, direct how Big Bend and the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River and other national park units will operate.
The Code of Federal Regulations and the Superintendent's Compendium provide a complete listing of park rules and regulations. These specific rules are developed with public input to implement applicable law.
Last updated: April 16, 2019