Deerfield River (MA) Hydro Relicensing: Building on Past Success
By: Robert Nasdor
Twenty years after reaching a historic settlement agreement on the Deerfield River hydropower relicensing that has transformed northeast paddling opportunities, we began another relicensing process this spring that will likely result in improvement in flows, access and facilities for boaters in the region. Each year, tens of thousands of whitewater boaters and rafters enjoy boating on the Deerfield River, providing exceptional paddling opportunities for both beginning and advanced paddlers. AW, along with FLOW and AMC, is seeking to use relicensing as an opportunity to increase both the quality and quantity of boating opportunities through securing additional releases and minimizing the impact of hydropower operations on boating opportunities and river habitat. We also hope to open access to land and water areas that have been restricted by the utility and seek additional recreation enhancements.