After five years of study and the release of its recommendations, the National Park Service is seeking comment on a proposal to designate the lower Farmington River and Salmon Book as Wild and Scenic.
The report is available on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site here and comments can be submitted through Oct. 17, 2012.
"This is really the final step in the process before the designation," said Joyce Kennedy Raymes, study coordinator with the National Park Service. Actual designation will require congressional action.
The study report and environmental assessment came after an exhaustive process with the cooperation and support of all 10 towns involved and numerous organizations, Raymes said.
A 2.9-mile of the river from where the Nepaug River flows into it to .2 miles below the lower Collinsville dam would be exempt from the status due to the historical significance of the upper and lower dams as well as the town's interest in potentially bringing hydropower back online. The Rainbow Dam in Windsor would also be exempt.
In 1994, the upper 14-miles of the Farmington River were designated and since then, a great partnership of parties has worked together to protect and enhance the river, according to the park service. The status can also result in greater federal assistance and grant funding, it added.
For more information or to request a printed copy of the report, contact Joyce Kennedy Raymes at (860) 658-4442 x.203.
To learn more about the Wild and Scenic River Study visit http://www.lowerfarmingtonriver.org/