The five-year WILD AND SCENIC FEASIBILITY STUDY involved volunteers from the 10 towns who oversaw research into the areas of interest, and worked with the towns, stakeholders and National Park Service to develop a management plan to help protect and enhance the outstanding natural, recreational, and/or cultural values of the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. The Lower Farmington River/Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Study Committee has released the Management Plan to the Study Area towns and is looking forward to the Farmington River and Salmon Brook gaining the Wild and Scenic designation in the near future.
The Wild & Scenic Study had three main components:
- Determining that the river is eligible for inclusion in the Wild & Scenic Rivers system by demonstrating it has outstanding natural, cultural or recreational values of regional or national significance (these are the Outstandingly Remarkable Values or ORVs);
- Determining that the river is suitable for Wild & Scenic designation by substantiating local support and commitment to designation through methods such as town wide votes of support for designation and adoption of locally-based river protection actions; and
- Developing a river Management Plan with local support that details the strategy for future protection of the area’s outstanding values.
The Management Plan was developed in broad collaboration with the local study committee, local land use commissions, community residents, the state, and other stakeholders.
The Management Plan achieved a number of objectives:
- Provides stakeholders with clear recommendations/blueprints of how to protect and enhance the watershed’s Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs)
- Identifies strategies to measure the quality of the ORVs over time.
- Establishes the basis for federal technical and financial assistance when the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook are designated as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The management tools recommended in the Plan rely principally on locally-led and locally-implemented strategies. As such the Plan can be used to help all the stakeholders protect the ORVs regardless of achieving a designation.
The Plan contains recommendations only and is not a regulatory document.
- The cost of the Study was entirely covered by the National Park Service.
- Designation helps bring grant and other funding to the local communities. The Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers each receive annual appropriations from Congress to assist in implementing Management Plans. Wild & Scenic status has also proven an effective vehicle for leveraging additional funds through other sources and partners at local, state and federal levels.
- The costs of administering a designated Wild & Scenic river are provided for by the National Park Service. Towns are not required nor asked to fund any part of the process.
Towns in the study area include: Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Canton, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury, and Windsor. When the river is designated, Canton will no longer be included in the Lower Farmington River Wild and Scenic area. Rather, its newly designated segment, contiguous with the already designated portion of the Upper Farmington River, will be included as an addition to the Upper Farmington River.
- Citizens had many chances to provide input. Forums, meetings and presentations were held throughout the study area.
- Towns provided input into the development of the Management Plan and all ten towns voted to support the Wild and Scenic designation