Pymatuning Creek Officially Designated|
as an Ohio Wild and Scenic River
KINSMAN, OH – Pymatuning Creek became the 15th river in 50 years to join the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program today, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Flowing through Ashtabula and Trumbull counties, a total of 30.66 miles of Pymatuning Creek was designated as an Ohio wild and scenic river.
A designation ceremony and journal entry signing by ODNR Director James Zehringer was held today at the Peter Allen Inn and Event Center in Kinsman. More than 50 local officials, conservation organizations, landowners and supporters of the Pymatuning Creek attended the ceremony.
“Ohio pioneered the nation’s river conservation movement 50 years ago with the passage of the first Scenic River Act, and it is exciting to designate a new wild and state scenic river during this 50th anniversary,” said Zehringer. “The communities along Pymatuning Creek came together to express unanimous support for this designation, and we are grateful to them for making this commitment to preserve this valuable natural resource.”
Located in northeast Ohio, the Pymatuning Creek watershed supports an exceptionally beautiful river valley and adjacent wetland complex system. Pymatuning Creek features superb natural characteristics and a variety of recreational opportunities. It joins other high-quality northeast Ohio streams, such as the Grand River and Conneaut Creek, in the statewide system of wild and scenic rivers.
Scenic rivers retain most of their natural characteristics at a time when many rivers reflect the negative impacts of human activities. Pymatuning Creek features a contiguous wooded riparian corridor, as well as diverse populations of plants and wildlife. The forested river corridor protects the river by acting as a filter by removing potential pollutants, which results in excellent water quality. The Pymatuning Creek corridor supports an exceptional variety of plant and animal species, as well as outstanding recreational fish populations, including northern pike and yellow perch, which are not common in Ohio’s rivers and streams.
Ohio pioneered the river preservation movement in 1968 with the passage of the nation's first Scenic Rivers Act. This legislation created a state program to protect Ohio's remaining high-quality streams for future generations. The program is coordinated by the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft.
The Ohio Scenic Rivers Program provides three categories for river classification: wild, scenic and recreational. Criteria examined include the stream's length, adjacent forest cover, biological characteristics, water quality, present use and natural conditions. Designation also requires support from local communities, public officials and landowners.
In 2018, ODNR celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program with a number of events and programs throughout the state. Pymatuning Creek is the first river to be designated in Ohio since the Ashtabula River was designated in 2008.