After 12 years of study, the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook have been designated by Congress as part of the Partnership National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program administered by the National Park Service. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 was enacted by Congress in order to preserve and maintain designated rivers for the enjoyment of present and future generations. As of November 2018, 209 rivers, totaling 12,754 miles of river in 40 states and Puerto Rico, had Wild and Scenic status.
This Wild and Scenic designation provides for the creation of an advisory committee and will ultimately provide federal funding of projects that will protect and enhance the special resource values for which these rivers were designated Wild and Scenic. In 2007, representatives from the 10 towns these watercourses flow through, along with representatives from the Farmington River Watershed Association, Salmon Brook Watershed Association, the Pequabuck River Watershed Association,Stanley Black and Decker (owner of the Rainbow Dam in Windsor), and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection formed a study committee to determine whether or not the two watercourses qualified for a Wild and Scenic designation application.
Untold hours were spent by these volunteers preparing the required input for all the various sections of the application. Several committee members made trips to Washington, D.C. to present the committee’s case to Congress.
Representative Esty and Senators Blumenthal and Murphy gave much needed legislative support to the project. One of Senator Murphy’s staff was instrumental in shepherding the application through the various steps necessary in order to receive the designation.
The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Committee (an advisory management committee) is being formed to oversee maintaining and enhancing the special qualities of these rivers. The Granby representatives to the advisory management committee are Eric Lukingbeal and Fred Jones, alternate. Dave Tolli will be representing the Salmon Brook Watershed Association. Eric and Dave were also on the study committee along with Caroline Flint, who also represented Granby.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Wild and Scenic designation is invited to attend a presentation by Sally Rieger at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the Granby Public Library. Sally was the chair of the study committee and did a superlative job keeping all the subcommittees on track and the entire project moving forward. She is also instrumental in forming the advisory committee.
More information can be found at: lowerFarmingtonriver.org.