Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 380: Providing for the protection and preservation of the Westfield River

Date: 11/03/1995
Issuer: William F. Weld
Mass Register: No. 779

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Westfield River has remarkably outstanding scenic qualities, fisheries and wildlife resources, geologic features, water quality, historic areas, wilderness qualities and unique natural and cultural characteristics sufficient to qualify four segments of the East Branch, Middle Branch and West Branch of the Westfield River for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System as described below:

  • East Branch, 16.2 miles, commencing at the Cummington/Windsor town line to a point 0.8 miles upstream of the confluence with the Holly Brook in Chesterfield;
  • Middle Branch, 12.6 miles, commencing at the Worthington/Peru town line to the confluence with the Kinne Brook in Chester;
  • Glendale Brook, 0.4 miles, commencing at the Clark Wright Road Bridge to the confluence with Middle Branch;
  • West Branch, 13.8 miles, commencing at a point 2000 feet downstream from the Railroad Bridge in Becket to the Huntington/Chester town line.

hereinafter described as "the designated Westfield River segments".

WHEREAS, the Westfield River segments listed above have been designated as a "Local Scenic River" under 'the Massachusetts Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act.

WHEREAS, the Westfield River Greenway Plan has been prepared with assistance from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and endorsed by the participating communities of Becket, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Middlefield and Worthington, to meet the following objectives:

a. To protect the free-flowing condition of the Westfield River for the current and future generations.

b. To protect the unique scenic qualities, environment and water quality of the Westfield River and its corridor.

c. To maintain and enhance the corridor's cultural and historic values, and economic vitality, consistent with efforts to protect the river's scenic qualities.

d. To conserve the resources of the Westfield River primarily through the use of existing local and state land use controls and voluntary private conservation actions.

e. To recognize private property rights, and allow for the use and enjoyment of the river corridor.

f. To provide for planned growth, consistent with local ordinances, while conserving the essential character of the river valley, and protecting life and property from flood hazards.

g. To maintain and improve fisheries and wildlife habitat to ensure the continued public enjoyment of wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing.

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management and the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement have approved the "Memorandum of Agreement for Protection of the Westfield River" which specifies actions these agencies have agreed to undertake to protect the Westfield River.

NOW, THEREFORE I, WILLIAM F. WELD, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

Declaration of Policy

Section 1. The Commonwealth shall protect, preserve and enhance the scenic and other natural resource values of the Westfield River segments designated as a Local Scenic River under the Massachusetts Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act, and a


Section 2. All agencies, departments, boards, commissions and authorities of the Commonwealth shall identify the impact on the scenic values of the designated Westfield River segments of all future works, projects, or activities conducted or financed by them.

Section 3. The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs shall consider the impacts on the scenic values of the designated Westfield River segments for any project requiring filing of an Environmental Notification Form in accordance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.

Section 4. To the extent feasible, all agencies, departments, boards, commissions and authorities of the Commonwealth which own land adjacent to or near the designated Westfield River segments shall take all steps necessary to enhance the maintenance and policing of such lands, and to minimize conflict with adjacent privately-owned lands.

Section 5. All agencies within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs with the authority to acquire real property and interests in real property shall review and evaluate the status of lands bordering the designated Westfield River segments, and where appropriate, consider protection of said lands or interests in lands through acquisition and where appropriate, give priority to grant applications from communities to further such acquisitions.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 3rd day of November in the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five.

William F. Weld, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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