New River National Wild & Scenic River Study, WV & VA
Congress passed Public Law 102-525 in 1992, authorizing the National Park Service to study a 19.3 mile segment of the New River in West Virginia and Virginia for potential designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. The segment is predominantly owned by the federal government and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with lease agreements with the WV Department of Natural Resources to manage the area for wildlife purposes.
The study area is upstream from the existing New River Gorge National River (NERI), an NPS unit, and upstream of the confluence of the NERI and the Bluestone River, a designated National Scenic River. Another tributary further downstream on the New River is the Gauley River National Recreation Area, also administered by NERI.
The study finds that this segment of the New River possesses outstandingly remarkable values and is free flowing and, therefore, eligible for National Wild and Scenic River designation. The study further finds that the resource is not suitable for Wild and Scenic River designation because (1) the resource is already protected; (2) there are no immediate issues, threats or needs that require designation; and (3) there is insufficient support at the state and local level for federal wild and scenic designation at this time. Given the finding that the river is not suitable for designation, the study finds that "No Action" is the only appropriate alternative.
Chuck Barscz, Division Chief
National Wild & Scenic Rivers
National Park Service, Northeast Region
200 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106