1998 Regular Session
To: Wildlife and Fisheries
By: Senator(s) Farris
Senate Bill 2978
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS SHALL CONDUCT A STUDY OF THE NATURAL AND SCENIC WATERWAYS IN THE STATE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECOMMENDING TO THE LEGISLATURE A STATE NATURAL AND SCENIC WATERWAYS SYSTEM; TO PROVIDE THAT A REPORT SUMMARIZING THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY AND MAKING LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS SHALL BE FILED BY OCTOBER 1, 1999, WITH THE APPROPRIATE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIRS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE STATE SENATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall conduct a study, under authority granted in Section 49-4-9, of the natural and scenic waterways in the state. The study shall be conducted in order to preserve, protect and develop the quality and aesthetics of natural or scenic streams; to preserve scenic, geological, historical, archaeological, botanical and cultural values with both present and potential benefits; to preserve fish and wildlife habitat, to compliment the present policy of channelization, clearing, snagging, channel realignment and to limit indiscriminate reservoir construction; to formulate and recommend a program for preserving and protecting the quality of natural streams and bayous; to encourage landowner participation; to protect private property rights and to ensure that any state natural and scenic waterways system shall be administered solely by the State of Mississippi. The goal of the study is for the department to propose and recommend to the Legislature a state natural and scenic waterways system.
SECTION 2. For purpose of the study, a "natural and scenic river" means a river, stream or bayou or segment thereof that is in a free-flowing condition, that has not been channelized, cleared and snagged within the past five (5) years, realigned, inundated or otherwise altered and has a shoreline covered by native vegetation and has no or few man-made structures along its banks.
SECTION 3. The primary purposes of conducting the study shall be to establish a natural and scenic waterways system that will preserve, protect, develop, reclaim and enhance the wilderness qualities, scenic beauties and the ecological regiment of certain free-flowing streams or segments; and to preserve aesthetic, scenic, recreational, fish, wildlife, ecological, archaeological, geological, botanical and other natural and physical features and resources found along these streams or segments.
SECTION 4. The waterways or designated segments that shall be reviewed as a part of the study include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Black Creek - Forrest, Perry and George Counties.
Termini - From the U.S. 11 bridge south of Hattiesburg to the Pascagoula River.
(b) Beaverdam Creek - Forrest and Perry Counties.
Termini - Entire stream.
(c) Red Creek - Stone County.
Termini - From U.S. 49 at Perkinston to Ramsey Springs.
(d) Wolf River - Pearl River and Harrison Counties.
Termini - Mississippi 26 east of Poplarville following into St. Louis Bay.
(e) Okatoma Creek - Covington County.
Termini - From the Seminary Bridge (Mississippi 590) to the Bouie River at Lux.
(f) Pascagoula River and Swamps - George and Jackson Counties.
Termini - From Junction of Leaf and Chickasawhay to Gulf of Mexico.
(g) Pearl River - Winston, Neshoba, Leake, Madison, Hinds, Franklin, Copiah, Simpson, Lawrence, Marion, Pearl River and Hancock Counties.
Termini - From its beginning in Winston County near Noxapater to Gulf of Mexico, except those portions of the river found in Madison, Rankin and Hinds Counties from Ratliff Ferry to Ross Barnett Reservoir Spillway.
(h) Strong River - Simpson County.
Termini - From D'Lo to its junction with Pearl River southeast of Georgetown.
(i) Bogue Chitto River - Pike County.
Termini - From Mississippi 570 (Hoover's Bridge) to Mississippi line.
(j) Magee's Creek - Walthall County.
Termini - From Tylertown south to the Bogue Chitto at Lehr, Mississippi.
(k) Homochitto River - Franklin and Wilkinson Counties.
Termini - From the U.S. 84 Bridge at Eddiceton in Franklin County to the Mississippi River at Lake Mary in Wilkinson County.
(l) Bayou Pierre - Claiborne County.
Termini - From Willous at Mississippi 462 to the Mississippi River.
(m) Bear Creek - Tishomingo County.
Termini - From Mississippi 30 south to Golden, Mississippi.
(n) Buttahatchee River - Monroe County.
Termini - East of Greenwood Springs, Mississippi 273 to Tombigbee at just north of Columbus Air Force Base.
(o) Hatchie River - Alcorn County.
Termini - From Tennessee border just east of county boundary to Tippah County boundary.
(p) Noxubee River - Oktibbeha and Noxubee County.
Termini - From Noxubee National Refuge to Mississippi line southeast of Cooksville.
(q) Tippah River - Marshall County.
Termini - From the bridge west of Bethlehem in Marshall County (Mississippi 349), then about four (4) miles down the Tallahatchie River Canal to Graham Lake near Abbeville.
(r) Escatawpa River - George and Jackson Counties.
Termini - From U.S. 98 on Mississippi border to Moss Point.
(s) Chickasawhay River - Clarke County.
Termini - From Stonewall to Shubuta.
(t) Okatibbee Creek - Clarke County.
Termini - From Basic City to Enterprise.
(u) Chunky River - Lauderdale and Clarke Counties.
Termini - From Stuckeys Bridge to Enterprise.
(v) Chunky Creek - Newton County.
(w) Tallahala Creek - Jasper, Jones, Forrest and Perry Counties.
Termini - From east of Montrose on Mississippi 503 to Leaf River at just northwest of New Augusta.
(x) Leaf River - Jones County.
Termini - From U.S. 84 east of Collins to the Lux to Eastabuchie Highway Bridge.
(y) Bouie River - Lamar, Covington and Forrest Counties.
Termini - From Mississippi 589 near Sumrall to Interstate 59 north of Hattiesburg.
(z) Bluff Creek -
(aa) Biloxi River - Harrison County.
Termini - From just north of Saucier to Back Bay of Biloxi.
(bb) Jourdan River - Hancock County.
Termini - Just east of Interstate 59 on Hancock County north boundary line to Gulf of Mexico.
(cc) Amite River Forks, East and West - Amite County.
Termini - From Mississippi 24 and 48 West Fork, and Mississippi 584 East Fork to junction on Mississippi line.
(dd) Tangipahoa River - Pike County.
Termini - From Magnolia south to Mississippi line.
(ee) Buffalo River - Wilkinson County.
Termini - From Mississippi 563 at Wilkinson to the Mississippi River.
(ff) Big Black River - Yazoo and Warren Counties.
Termini - From U.S. 49 at Vernon to Mississippi River.
(gg) Bull Mountain Creek - Itawamba County.
Termini - From Alabama state line to Mississippi 25.
(hh) East Fork Tombigbee River - Monroe and Itawamba Counties.
Termini - From confluence with Bull Mountain Creek to confluence with Mill Creek.
(ii) Coldwater River - Marshall and Desoto Counties.
Termini - From Mississippi 7 north of Holly Springs to confluence with Pigeon Roost Creek.
(jj) Tchotacabouffa River - Harrison and Jackson Counties.
Termini - From Mississippi 15 to Biloxi Back Bay.
SECTION 5. The department shall prepare a report summarizing the results of the study and making recommendations for legislation to create a state system of natural and scenic waterways. The report shall be filed by October 1, 1999, with the following officials: the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate, the chair of the House Conservation and Water Resources Committee, the chair of the House Game and Fish Committee, the chair of the Senate Environmental Protection, Conservation and Water Resources Committee, the chair of the Senate Wildlife and Fisheries Committee, and the chair of the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Parks Committee.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.