Friday, June 11, 1999
Local rivers designated scenic: a cause for celebration
On June 7, U.S. Representative Marty Meehan was joined by Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry to celebrate the passage of Meehan's legislation designating the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Systems. The ceremony took place at Minuteman National Historical Park's Old North Bridge in Concord and was followed by a reception at the Old Manse.
Representing Carlisle at the event were chair of the selectmen Vivian Chaput and former selectman Wanda Milik, who diligently advocated for the scenic rivers' designation.
In 1968, Congress passed the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act which established a national policy of preserving the free-flowing condition and character of those rivers designated under the act. This designation now serves to protect 29 miles of the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers, which provide recreational, environmental, scenic and historic resources. The designated segments of the rivers run through the towns of Bedford, Billerica, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Lincoln, Sudbury and Wayland.
In his speech, Meehan pointed out, "The rapid growth and popularity of this region has made protecting these rivers, and the remaining green open space along their banks, more critical than ever. Rapid growth has created new choices, new problems, new opportunities and new dilemmas for area residents. Indeed, the question is no longer if communities will grow, but rather how they will grow."
Decisions about future development along the banks of these rivers will now be made in consultation with the soon-to-be-created River Stewardship Council. The council will be guided by a River Conservation Plan which was unanimously approved by the eight surrounding communities at Town Meetings in 1995.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito