RESOLVED, by the [insert organization], this xxx day of xxx, 2012, after due consideration:

That the locks on the Upper Monongahela river in West Virginia must be kept open to support river commerce, recreation, and economic development of the Monongahela River watershed in West Virginia; and,  

That the federal government, through actions by the administration and congress, should fully fund the needs of our nation’s navigable rivers for commerce , recreation, and, economic development; and,

That the State of West Virginia, its citizens, local governments, business organizations, river recreational entities, and others should work hand in hand with the federal government to accomplish this need through innovative solutions.


Whereas, the upper reaches (headwaters) of many of our nation’s navigable rivers have suffered a decline in river commerce, resulting in severe cutbacks in federal funding for maintenance and operation of locks and dams on these rivers by the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE), including the hours the locks are open for transit by river traffic;

Whereas, this problem is especially severe within the Pittsburgh District of COE, for the Monongahela River in West Virginia, and, for the upper reaches of the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, thus causing great harm to commercial and recreational users of these two rivers and to the communities and businesses that rely on unhindered navigation of these rivers;

Whereas, the US Army Corps of Engineers, via their Inland Marine Transportation System LEVELS OF SERVICE GUIDE, March 2012, has determined that inadequate funding of our nation’s navigable river facilities (eg, locks and dams) has created grave financial problems for maintaining this system, thus requiring that low-use locks be shut down to free up funds for high-use locks, and that the low level of commercial lockages at the locks on the upper Mon in WV, requires that as of 1 November 2012 : (1) Morgantown lock will operate one shift per day, weekends and holidays only; (2) Hildebrand and Opekiska locks will be commercial lockages by appointment only-no recreational lockages;

[insert organization] resolves that the following action must be undertaken:

Support the effort begun in 2003 by the Upper Monongahela River Association and UMRA’s allies within the Pittsburgh District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, to add support of recreational boating, fishing and other river based recreational activities to the duties of the US Army Corps of Engineers in their operations of our navigable rivers.

To access this 2003 resolution, Click here

Especially see item (C):

(C) Seek congressional authorization and funding for studies of how the federal government might partner with states and local communities on innovative ways to fund and operate river navigation needs.

[insert organization] resolves that  the additional actions listed below must be undertaken, as interim solutions in lieu of the planned closing of our upper Mon locks on 1 November 2012. We urge that these measures remain in effect, until our federal government undertakes to keep locks open not only for river commerce, but also to enhance river watershed economic development including river recreation.

These initiatives were presented by UMRA and others at the Upper Monongahela River Association sponsored meeting held in Morgantown on 17 July 2012, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and also sponsored by the Mon River Recreation & Commerce Committee of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce.

We offer these specific initiatives, in response to the current plan to close our upper Mon locks:


(1) That the upper Mon locks be open for 45 days during the 1 April through 31 October recreational boating season.  It is suggested that three day weekend operations be scheduled for Friday through Sunday, and on holidays.  This would facilitate fishing tournaments which are of great economic benefit to the upper Mon region.  This would also allow recreational boaters to full access to the upper Mon. This mode of operation also would exercise the locks to ensure they remain operable.

(2) That ways be found to provide lock operators other than Pittsburgh District employees.  Perhaps retired lock operators could be engaged here. The Pittsburgh District is urged to survey retired lock operators to determine if any are available and willing to help. Evaluate the possibility of a Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Auxiliary, to provide, train, and certify volunteer help, eg., lock operators. This auxiliary, perhaps modeled after the successful Coast Guard Auxiliary system, perhaps could undertake other assistance to Pittsburgh District missions.

(3) That innovative ways to fund operation of the locks be investigated.  Initially concentrate on how to pay part-time lock operators.  One possible vehicle is to create an Upper Mon Port authority that governments and businesses, others could join, and, contribute funds for running the locks. Further, given that the federal government owns the locks, this approach may require congressional action. There are many issues here, including liability.

(4) That the upper Mon locks and dams upon closure must be fully maintained by the Pittsburgh District such that in the future these facilities can be quickly returned to service, when political, recreational and/or business factors require that the locks be reopened.

(5) That the nine foot channel depth on the upper Mon must be maintained. The dams must not be allowed to be silted in.

(6) That public boat ramp access to the Hildebrand pool must be provided.

(7) That means be provided at the upper Mon locks for portage of canoes, kayaks, and other small boats, around the locks.

(8) That public boat ramp access to the Morgantown pool must be provided.  Currently the Uffington boat ramp is the only public access but it is silted in and needs to be dredged by the Corps.  Alternatively, another public boat ramp site should be considered that would not be as susceptible to silting.

(9) That dredging is needed at the Prickett’s Fort boat launch ramp, or use of Corps of Engineers property to relocate the public ramp. Prickett’s Fort has parking access for bass boater truck-trailers, and, Prickett’s Fort ramp is important for bass boat tournaments.

(10) That fishing platform access is needed at the Morgantown lock and dam, on the south approach wall to the dam.

(11) That West Virginia Division of Natural Resources lockages should be counted as commercial lockages.

(12) That the locks and dams during closure must be sufficiently exercised to limit closure impact on fish mobility on the river, and, the impact on mussels.

(13) That the possibility of remote control of lockages at our three upper Mon locks from the Point Marion lock and dam be considered. This has been considered in the past. For further information, visit http://www.UpperMon.org.

(14) That walk path access to the river bank from the rail trail be provided, on the Morgantown side of the river from the Morgantown lock and dam down to Deckers Creek.