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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 13, 2006
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Draft outdoor recreation, conservation and open space plan to be presented at local meetings
Presentation to include local recommendations

(RICHMOND, Va.) – A new draft of the state’s outdoorrecreation, conservation and open space plan, including localrecommendations, will be the focus of public meetings heldin Charlottesville, Staunton, Culpeper and Front Royal. Plannersfrom the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreationwill present the draft Virginia Outdoors Plan at 3 p.m. and7 p.m. meetings at the Thomas Jefferson Planning DistrictCommission office in Charlottesville, Tuesday, Nov. 28; theCentral Shenandoah PDC in Staunton, Wednesday, Nov. 29; theCulpeper County Library, and the Warren County GovernmentCenter Community Room in Front Royal, Thursday, Nov. 30. Theseare among more than 40 meetings to be held statewide Oct.through Dec.

The Virginia Outdoors Plan is the state’s officialconservation, outdoor recreation and open space guide. Alllevels of government and the private sector use it in determiningand meeting land conservation, outdoor recreation and openspace needs. Recommendations in the plan are also used asone of the tools in ranking projects for Virginia Land ConservationFoundation funds.

“The VOP has long been an important tool in meetingVirginians’ outdoor recreational needs,” said DCR Director JosephH. Maroon. “With Gov. Kaine’s commitment to landconservation, this plan takes on added significance.”

The plan is revised every five years. As part of its revision,DCR staff have updated the outdoor recreation resource inventory,conducted a statewide Virginia Outdoor Survey with assistancefrom Virginia Commonwealth University and last fall held aseries of 40 public input meetings statewide. Among the topicsbrought up in those meetings were trails and greenway linkages,water trails and scenic waterways, urban greenspace, eco-tourismand nature deficit disorder. Local outdoor recreation andconservation recommendations also surfaced. Recommendationsfound in the draft plan include:

For Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisaand Nelson counties:
- Consider acquisition of land for a state park that willprovide public access to waterways.
- Protect large blocks of native forests and high-qualitystream corridors.
- Develop a trail linking the City of Charlottesville to theBlue Ridge Mountains.
- Continue development of the Blue Ridge Railway Trail, ajoint project between Nelson and Amherst counties.

For Harrisonburg, Buena Vista, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboroand Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties:
- Implement the 2000 Shenandoah Valley Battlefields ManagementPlan.
- Complete development of the Great Eastern Trial throughthe Alleghany Mountains.
- Designate the historic Valley Road, Route 11, as a VirginiaScenic Byway. Continue efforts to protect the natural andscenic resources of Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway andthe George Washington- Jefferson National Forest.
- Support development of equestrian trails in the region includingthe Alleghany Highlands Horse Trail, a 45-mile system connectingtrails in George Washington National Forest in Alleghany andBath Counties with trails in Douthat State Park.
- Develop a horse-drawn buggy/bikeway along Rt. 42 from Daytonto Harrisonburg.
- Identify and develop appropriate access to the Recreationalrivers in the region.
- Implement the Central Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Plan andincorporate recommendations in local plans.
- Implement development of the Jackson River Scenic Trailas 17-mile greenway and water trail from Alleghany Countyto Lake Moomaw and extending into Highland County.

For Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannockcounties:
- Consider acquisition of land for a state park along theRapidan River in Madison or Orange County.
- Adopt and implement the draft RRPDC 2006 Bicycle and PedestrianPlan.

- Expand the Warrenton Branch Greenway in Fauquier County.
- Improve public access to recreational streams in the Rappahannockand Rapidan river systems.

For Winchester and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah andWarren counties:
- Implement the 2004 Walking and Wheeling plan for the NorthernShenandoah Valley.
- Continue development of the Green Circle in Winchester connectingAbrams Creek Wetlands Preserve to Apple Blossom Mall and OldTown Winchester.
- Implement the 2000 Shenandoah Valley Battlefields ManagementPlan.
- Develop and protect a corridor for The Great Eastern Trailthrough the Northern Shenandoah Region.
- Develop a managed system of water trails providing accessand recreational use areas along the Shenandoah River.
- Designate the historic Valley Road, Route 11, as a VirginiaScenic Byway.

The Thomas Jefferson PDC is located at 401 East Water Streetin Charlottesville. The Central Shenandoah PDC is locatedat 112 McTanly Place in Staunton. The Culpeper Public Libraryis at 271 Southgate Shopping Center in Culpeper and the WarrenCounty Government Center is on 200 North Commerce Ave. inFront Royal.

The draft VOP is also available for review on the DCR website.Go to www.dcr.virginia.gov; click on “Recreation Planning” thenon “Draft 2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan.” Commentswill be accepted through Dec. 15, 2006 and can be sent toVop@dcr.virginia.gov.

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