MORE THAN 32 MILES OF MOHICAN RIVER ACHIEVES NEW STATUS AS OHIO’S 13TH STATE SCENIC RIVER|
Designation provides benefits to landowners, local communities
COLUMBUS, OH - A 32.3-mile portion of the Mohican River, winding through Knox, Ashland, Holmes and Coshocton counties, was officially designated as Ohio’s newest state scenic river today, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The designation provides additional state protection to the Clear Fork of the Mohican River from the base of Pleasant Hill Dam to the confluence with the Black Fork and to the entire main stem to its confluence with the Kokosing River.
“State scenic river status for the Mohican was initiated at the request of local leaders and many of those who have come to know its unique environmental and recreational features,” said Sam Speck, ODNR director. “This designation will provide an additional tool for protecting one of north central Ohio’s highest quality streams.”
The Mohican River becomes the 13th Ohio waterway to achieve state scenic river status. Scenic rivers retain a majority of their natural characteristics and must include at least 25 percent of their riparian corridors in forest cover for a width of 300 feet. The designated segments of the Mohican River are 63 percent in forest cover. In addition, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has designated the river a warmwater habitat because of the high quality of its aquatic communities.
“The scenic river designation establishes a working partnership between local landowners, area businesses, government agencies and citizens, which will help protect and enhance this important natural resource,” Speck said. “Although the designation provides ODNR with review authority over publicly funded projects, it in no way impacts the private property rights of landowners along the Mohican.”
Efforts to designate the Mohican as a state scenic river began earlier this year. A number of local communities and organizations have worked toward that goal, including four counties and six townships in the river’s watershed.
Ohio passed the nation’s first scenic river protection legislation in 1968, providing for wild, scenic and recreational classifications for rivers. Criteria used to evaluate a river’s status include the stream's length, adjacent forest cover, biological characteristics, water quality, present use and natural conditions.
The Ohio Scenic Rivers Program, administered by the ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves, identifies and helps preserve those rivers and streams possessing important natural or historic characteristics of state significance. Scenic river designation is a locally driven process that relies on the support and participation of government and landowners.
Other state scenic rivers include: Chagrin River, Conneaut Creek, Big and Little Darby Creeks, Grand River, Kokosing River, Little Beaver Creek, Little Miami River, Maumee River, Olentangy River, Sandusky River, Stillwater River/Greenville Creek, and Upper Cuyahoga River. The Little Beaver Creek, Big and Little Darby creeks and Little Miami River have also been recognized as national scenic rivers.