Pymatuning Creek: A State Wild and Scenic River

Dec 28, 2018

It’s official! Pymatuning Creek is now a State Wild and Scenic river making it Ohio’s 15th scenic river! This designation marks Ashtabula county’s 4th scenic river and the first wild and scenic river for Trumbull county. On Monday, December 17th, 2018 Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer signed a Journal Entry declaring the Pymatuning Creek from Ayers Road bridge in Ashtabula County (river mile 32.6) downstream to river mile 4.7 in Trumbull County as a wild river and Pymatuning Creek from river mile 4.7 to the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line a scenic river. The Journal Entry signing event was held at the Peter Allen Inn and Events Center in Kinsman and was well attended by collaborators and township and county residents. 

This entry is the product of a nearly 2-year process from inception to plan development.  Spearheaded by Kinsman Township trustees and ODNR’s Matthew Smith, this plan began as a regional vision to recognize the beautiful and ecotourism attractions of Pymatuning Creek as more than a “swamp” or wetland. Mr. Smith developed a Pymatuning Creek Scenic River Designation Study committee to gather information for the development and support of the Pymatuning Creek State Wild and Scenic Designation Study.  Eastgate, along with other partners such as Kinsman Township, Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Cleveland Museum of Natural History and additional support from agencies such as Trumbull County MetroParks, Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Ashtabula County SWCD, Ohio EPA made the development of the Designation possible. 

A good deal of field and aerial assessment work was performed to ensure the stretches of river qualify for the designations being sought.  Collaborators worked through the designation process to ensure the Pymatuning met the criteria set forth by Ohio Scenic Rivers Program Criteria for Wild, Scenic, and Recreational River designations under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 1547.81.

The designations are not restoration tools, rather a means to recognize the unique characteristics of a stream. According to ODNR, the designations, when combined with statutory authority help ensure decisions and activities which may impact a river are conducted in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner.