Niagara Gorge Rim Ecological Restoration Plan

The Wild Ones National
City of Niagara Falls, New York

The Niagara gorge rim has accommodated a variety of land uses throughout its history, but perhaps none has stirred as much debate as its current use as a limited-access parkway. The use, condition, and future disposition of the Robert Moses Parkway (RMP) along the gorge rim have been sources of local concern for decades. In 2010 EDR was retained by Wild Ones, a natural landscape advocacy organization, to re-evaluate the use of that land as a transportation corridor and consider the many benefits of a full ecological restoration of this truly unique natural resource. Our study addresses the four primary issues that frame the community dialogue relative to RMP removal and restoration of the Niagara gorge rim: financial feasibility, traffic impacts, environmental and economic benefits, and the process of implementation. The findings indicate that full removal of the RMP is financially feasible; there would be no significant impacts as a result of redistribution of the RMP traffic; there would be significant environmental and economic benefits as a result from of the ecological restoration of the Niagara gorge rim; and finally, that the ecological restoration of the gorge rim could be achieved over time with the appropriate management.