On February 5th, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Representatives Ann Kuster (NH-02) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) introduced legislation to designate portions of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as scenic rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The Nashua Wild and Scenic River Act is included in S. 47 Natural Resource Management Act that passed the U.S. Senate on February 12, 2019.
View S. 47 here
and an article about it in the Washington Post here
and an article from Senator Shaheen here.
View Stewardship Plan and Full Appendices
View “Nashua, Nissitissit, and Squannacook Rivers: Forever Wild and Scenic” Video
View Upcoming Events
View National Park Service "River Connections: Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers" Video
NEXT STEPS - FEBRUARY 2019
Since its inception in 2015, the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Committee has worked to identify our river-related outstandingly remarkable resource values, consider the eligibility and suitability of the rivers for designation, and develop a voluntary stewardship plan with much public input. A major milestone in this process was reached this past spring with the acceptance by all eleven participating communities at their 2018 annual town meetings of the "Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers Stewardship Plan" and its recommendation to seek federal designation of the rivers as "Wild and Scenic."
The “Stewardship Plan” is a companion document to the “Study Report” currently being prepared by the National Park Service for congressional review. Numerous letters of support are being collected for inclusion in the Study Report.
In September 2018 Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03) introduced a bill to Congress, the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Act, that is authored by herself and Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02) that would add segments of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers to the national Wild and Scenic Rivers System. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by MA Senators Markey and Warren, and NH Senators Hassan and Shaheen, and was heard in the National Park sub-committee of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Act was included in S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act (‘federal lands package’) but did not proceed before the end of the 115th Congressional Session.
Early in the 116th Congressional Session, S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, was brought to the U.S. Senate, and the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Act was still included in this large package. On February 12, 2019 S. 47 passed in a 92 – 8 vote. The next step is for it to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Once Congress votes in favor of the legislation, the President will then be asked to sign the legislation to officially designate the rivers as Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers.
As this legislative process proceeds, the group that has served as the Study Committee is continuing its work and beginning implementation of the voluntary recommendations that comprise the action item portion of the approved Stewardship Plan. When designation occurs, the Study Committee will morph into the formal Stewardship Council, as described in the Stewardship Plan. Work to protect our outstandingly remarkable resources -- our biological diversity, scenic & recreational, and historical & cultural values -- will continue!