The National Park Service provides technical assistance on Hydropower Licensing Proceedings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Applicants for FERC hydropower licenses are required to consult with the NPS about:

  • All resources affected within National Park System areas

  • Recreational resources (includes land management and aesthetic issues) even if the project doesn’t affect the National Park System

  • Historic and archeological values

NPS primarily makes recommendations about:

  • Recreation access and facilities

  • Instream flows for recreation

  • Riparian corridor and conservation buffer zone protection

  • Park System resources

NPS authority:

  • NPS has authority to require mandatory conditions, but only for select units of the National Park system, depending on the authorizing legislation.

NPS Assistance:

NPS provides technical assistance to all participants in FERC proceedings:

  • National Park System areas affected by hydropower licenses

  • Identifies issues and works to resolve potential problems between industry and recreational user groups

  • Works with local interest groups, industry, and state and other federal agencies

A kayaker standing next to another man in dirt parking lot

Guides for Hydropower Studies

Explore the tools and partnerships the NPS provides through their technical assistance.

Tall dam with whitewater spray being released

Hydropower and NPS

The NPS helps enhance recreation opportunities and resource protection at new and existing hydropower facilities.

Four rafters in whitewater section

Project Results

NPS engagement in hydropower proceedings and settlements leads to new recreation and conservation opportunities.

Last updated: October 23, 2017