Want to paddle a Wild & Scenic or other picturesque river? It just got a whole lot easier.
Put out by the River Management Society, the National Rivers Project (NRP) is an ever-growing comprehensive database and interactive map that records and shares paddling information for Wild & Scenic Rivers, water trails and select whitewater rivers. Its goal: to increase visibility and use for water trails, Wild and Scenic Rivers and whitewater sections.
Sourced and vetted by local managers and available at www.nationalriversproject.com, the NRP recently added 21 river segments and 46 access points to the site’s growing list. These recent additions are sections of 16 rivers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island that were designated Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers (PWSR) as part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019.
“The National River Project enables local and out-of-town paddlers to plan an outing to experience the recreational, ecological, scenic, historic and cultural values that made these rivers worthy of Wild and Scenic designation,” says Project Coordinator Jack Henderson. “We really appreciate our partnership with the National Park Service, whose program support increased access and appreciation for all of our nation’s rivers.”
The Dingell Act protected more than 600 river miles on the Farmington River, Salmon Brook, West Branch Salmon Brook, East Branch Salmon Brook, Nashua River, Squannacook River, Nissitissit River, Pawcatuck River, Shunock River, Beaver River, Green Fall River, Ashaway River, Queen River, Usquepaug River, Wood River and Chipuxet River, as well as several rivers in Oregon, Utah and California. This brings the total number of Wild and Scenic River segments on the NRP website to 354.
PWSR designation differs from the more common Wild and Scenic River designation because the rivers are managed by the community through partnerships and agreements with the National Park Service (NPS), versus being managed solely by a state or federal agency.
“Local watershed groups and other partners advocated for the protection and designation of these special rivers, and their hard work paid off with the Dingell Act designating these rivers as Wild and Scenic,” adds Emma Lord, Natural Resource Specialist with the NPS Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. “Working with our local partners, we were able to provide river descriptions and access information to make identifying and planning a trip on these rivers easy using the National Rivers Project tools.”
The NRP’s national rivers geospatial map and database now chronicles more than 1,900 segments of North American rivers with helpful information like access points, fishing information and campsite locations. The website is clean and easy to navigate with high-quality mapping data and consistent attributes across each data entry. The project is managed by the River Management Society (RMS) in partnership with the National Park Service and a dedicated team of more than 50 federal, state and local partners (http://www.nationalriversproject.com/pages/partners).
NRP’s map is useful for beginners and professionals, with easily-searchable information on hundreds of beginner-friendly river trips around the country (in most states) along with details to help their search and links to local managers who can provide the details necessary to plan the paddling trip.
RMS and NRP credit partners like the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Additions and revisions to existing data are always welcome by visiting www.nationalriversproject.com.