Cheap and Cheerful Stream Restoration



River restoration projects tend to require a number of different permits in order to satisfy both state and federal regulations. In many cases there are both federal permits that may need to be satisfied and state-level permits. Additionally the permits required may vary based on land ownership. This goal of this section is to introduce some of the permitting that is required. It is not comprehensive. Managers and restoration practitioners will need to become familiar with the permits required in their specific locations.

Stream Alteration Permits

Stream alteration permits are required in order to satisfy section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge of fill material into wetlands and streams. Under section 404 the Army Corps of Engineers is tasked with evaluating all activities that can fall into section 404. However, the Army Corps has formed agreements with many states that allow the states to regulate low-impact activities that are regulated by section 404 through a general permit. Therefore stream alteration permits vary state by state. Below are links to the relevant state agencies that administer stream alteration permits to satisfy the requirements of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Clean Water Act.

Utah Division of Water Rights:







There are a number of regional general permits in Oregon, here is a handy starting place that lists different permits, exemptions etc


New Mexico

Water Rights

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Trapping Beaver

Translocating Beaver