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house Bill H.R. 2569

Recognizing Vermont's Scenic Rivers

Argument in favor

Federal designation will protect the natural, cultural, and recreational qualities of the Upper Missisquoi and Trout rivers while maintaining water quality.

Argument opposed

A significant portion of lands along these rivers are privately owned — involving the federal government in these rivers invites federal control of private property.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed September 15th, 2014
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedJune 27th, 2013

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What is House Bill H.R. 2569?

H.R. 2569 would add two segments of Vermont rivers to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers program:
  • The Missisquoi River (50 upper miles)
  • Trout Rivers (11 miles). 

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers system was created in 1968 to recognize and preserve rivers with “exceptional scenic and recreational value.” Currently, 40 other states have rivers designated —  the Missisquoi and Trout rivers would be Vermont's first.


Vermont residents and visitors who use the rivers for recreational purposes, the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic Committee, the Secretary of Interior, and the National Park Service (NPS).

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2569

$1.00 Million
A CBO cost estimate found that implementing H.R. 2569 would cost about $1 million between 2015-2019. This estimate is based on the cost of similar partnerships, and the $175,000 dollars required from NPS funds every year.

More Information

In Depth:

In 2009, Northern Vermont residents from 9 communities formed The Wild & Scenic River Study Committee to assess the potential impacts of "Wild and Scenic Designation" on the upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers. Once the study was concluded, the committee petitioned Congress to include the rivers in the program.

This bill would NOT authorize:

  • Federal land acquisition,
  • Federal regulation of privately owned land,
  • Changes to current hunting or fishing laws,
  • Changes to how local farms are regulated.

Sponsoring Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) noted of the bill:

“The Wild and Scenic designation would highlight the unique cultural, scenic and recreational qualities of these rivers. It would also empower communities along the rivers to protect the resources. Most of the land along the rivers is privately owned, and a committee made up of local representatives would be responsible for river management. The designation would not harm commercial or recreational activities along the river.”

Skeptics of federal designation, like Troy, Vermont Selectman Mark Sanville, said he had reservations regarding more federal government control:

"The river is going to be wild and scenic whether we call it that or not."


Sponsoring Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Press Release

Rep. Peter Welch testimony in House Committee on Natural Resources (Video)

Vermont Public Radio news blog

Burlington Free Press

(Photo Credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region)


Upper Missisquoi and Trout Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Official Title

To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the Missisquoi River and the Trout River in the State of Vermont, as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

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