Vermont Business Magazine US Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) Thursday introduced the Nulhegan River and Paul Stream Wild and Scenic River Study Act to begin the process of possibly designating segments of these waterways as part of the National Wild and Scenic River system. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) introduced companion legislation in the US House of Representatives.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers System, overseen by the National Park Service, preserves rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values for future and present generations. The National Park Service works with local partners to study the river and if a river is designated, the Park Service provides annual federal funding for river restoration, recreation enhancements, and community projects.
The “study” bill will authorize the National Park Service to work with local landowners and community members to assess the condition of the river, how it is used and the possible benefits of a Wild and Scenic designation. Once completed, designation would be possible through future legislation.
In 2007, Leahy, Sanders and Welch worked together to designate the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers in Vermont as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and earlier this year co-sponsored a study bill, led by Senator Markey, for a segment of the Deerfield River in southern Vermont and Massachusetts.
Leahy said: “The Nulhegan River is a gem of the Northeast Kingdom. Through this legislation I am asking the National Park service to support the efforts of local partners, landowners and communities to study the possible benefits of joining the National Wild and Scenic River system.”
Welch said: “Vermont’s wild places are essential to the ecology, history, and economy of our region. They must be protected. This legislation asks that local communities and the National Park Service work together to consider the benefits of joining the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Together, we can find the best way to protect natural spaces like the Nulhegan River for generations to come.”
Sanders said: “We must protect the Nulhegan River. I look forward to working with my colleagues to add the river to the Wild and Scenic River system so that it can be preserved for our children and grandchildren.”
Nulhegan River emanates from Nulhegan Pond in Brighton in Essex County near Island Pond and is a tributary of the Connecticut River.
Legislative text for the Nulhegan River and Paul Stream Wild and Scenic River Study Act is available HERE.
WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Sept. 8, 2022) – Delegation