An effort to preserve a picturesque and wild part of Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties became official Monday.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer and conservationists appeared at a signing ceremony designating Pymatuning Creek as a Wild and Scenic River.

A nearly 30-mile portion extending from the Ayers Road Bridge crossing in Ashtabula County downstream into Trumbull County to the Ohio/Pennsylvania line is included in the designated area.

"It means Pymatuning Creek has exceptional water quality, a very natural and undisturbed corridor. It identifies it as an outstanding recreational resource for the people of the area and for the state of Ohio," said Bob Gable of the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program.

Alex Czayka of the Western Land Conservancy, said "It's a great recreational area. The majority of it is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and managed by the Division of Wildlife as a wildlife area so it provides tremendous hunting and fishing opportunities so bird watching kayaking and canoeing, things like that."

The wild and scenic river designation of the Pymatuning Creek will provide an opportunity for ODNR to work closely with the local communities along the creek in the long-term protection of this high-quality aquatic ecosystem.

The ODNR Scenic Rivers Program is responsible for managing Ohio’s 14 designated wild, scenic and recreational rivers providing long-term protection and outdoor recreational opportunities on some of Ohio’s remaining highest quality rivers and streams.