Bill Text (PDF)

Washington (March 1, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) today reintroduced the Deerfield River Wild and Scenic River Study Act, legislation to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of the Deerfield River—which runs from southern Vermont through western Massachusetts to the Connecticut River—to identify portions of the river and its tributaries that could be incorporated into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Deerfield River and its tributaries flow through the Connecticut River Valley, and for centuries have served as an invaluable resource for surrounding neighborhoods and the environment, including as a travel route for native communities alongside the Mohawk Trail.

“The Deerfield River is an invaluable natural and recreational resource with deep roots in our Commonwealth’s history—we must preserve it,” said Senator Markey. “I am proud to introduce this legislation alongside my partner Congressman McGovern to protect this important river. I will continue to fight to safeguard the Deerfield River and preserve it for future generations.”

“Every thirty seconds in the United States, we lose a football field-sized area of nature to human development. If we want to have any chance of leaving the world a better place for future generations, we need to make sure that conservation and environmental stewardship are national priorities,” said Ranking Member McGovern. “It’s time to add the Deerfield River and its tributaries to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Deerfield River is beloved by so many, and the cooperative spirit that exists here is a model for watersheds everywhere. I’m thrilled to introduce this new legislation alongside Senator Markey to secure for the Deerfield River the national recognition it deserves.”

“The Deerfield River is truly one of New England's greatest natural treasures, with outstanding whitewater boating, scenery and fishing, and the Deerfield River Watershed Association is excited to work with Senator Markey and Chairman McGovern to introduce legislation to consider the Deerfield River for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System,” said Christopher Curtis, Vice President of the Deerfield River Watershed Association.

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE

Cosponsors of the Deerfield River Wild and Scenic River Study Act include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

In February 2019, Senator Markey 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, which was then signed into law that year under part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act