Project Outcomes

Several people on a raft in whitewater
Clackamas River, Oregon
Photo - Doug Whittaker

Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has worked on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydropower licensing proceedings to protect, improve and create access to outdoor recreation on over 1,900 river miles and over 1700 miles of trails, and contributed to the conservation of over 80,000 acres of parks and open space.

As a result of the FERC process, licenses support recreation and conservation improvements including, recreation facilities and access points, shoreline protection, flows for recreation, and interpretation and education materials.


  • Access facilities (e.g., boat ramps, portages, mobility impaired access, improved shoreline fishing access, trails, changing areas, sanitation improvements, parking)

  • Flows (e.g., whitewater releases, improved navigability, fishing flows, release schedules, reduced opportunity for conflicts between fishing and boating)

  • Funds (e.g., access fee agreements, recreation facility maintenance)

  • Education (e.g., recreational/historical brochures, interpretive displays)

Land Protection:

  • Donation of project lands and for conservation and public use

  • Acquisition of lands for conservation and public use

  • Protection of culturally significant sites including archaeological resources

Aquatic Habitat:

  • Increased minimum flows

  • Increased operational flexibility

  • Habitat restoration funds

  • Habitat improvements for fish, mussels, and other aquatic life

  • Remediation of erosion

  • Wetlands restoration

  • Reduced winter drawdown

  • Reduced spring impoundment fluctuation

Enhancement Funds:

  • Protection, mitigation, enhancement funding

  • Research and monitoring

  • Water quality education

  • Recreation facility maintenance

Settlement Enforceability:

  • Language to clarify alternative courses of action if FERC does not accept key provisions of Offers of Settlement or rejects agreement.

Learn more about NPS Hydropower Assistance projects through our Case Studies.

Last updated: August 20, 2020