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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 09, 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 (Roanoke area)
Presentation to include local recommendations

(RICHMOND, Va.) – A new draft of the state’soutdoor recreation, conservation and open space plan, includinglocal recommendations, will be the focus of meetings heldin Lynchburg, Roanoke, Radford and Martinsville.

Planners from the Virginia Department of Conservation andRecreation will present the draft Virginia Outdoors Plan at3 p.m. and 7 p.m. meetings at the Lynchburg Public Library,Monday, Nov. 27; the Roanoke Valley/Alleghany Planning DistrictCommission office in Roanoke, Tuesday, Nov. 28; the New RiverValley PDC office in Radford, Monday, Dec. 4 and the WestPiedmont PDC office in Martinsville, Tuesday, Dec. 5. 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 Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedfordand Campbell :
- Complete development of the James River Heritage Trail fromLynchburg to Richmond.
- Support development of the region’s 2003 Greenwayand Blueways Plan.
- Create a trail connection between the Appomattox CourthouseNational Historical Park and the High Bridge Trail State Park.
- Localities should work to protect scenic views in the BlueRidge Parkway and Appalachian Trail viewsheds.
- Identify and develop additional public water accesses alongrecreational rivers throughout the region.

For the cities of Covington,Roanoke and Salem; Alleghany,Boutetourt, Craig and Roanoke counties:
- Complete development through the Allegheny Mountains ofthe Great Eastern Trail proposed to link existing trails fromcentral Alabama to central New York along the Allegheny Highlands.
- Designate the historic Valley Road, Route 11, as a VirginiaScenic Byway.
- Develop the 17-mile Jackson River Scenic Trail as a greenwayand water trail from Alleghany County to Lake Moomaw and intoHighland County.
- Develop and upgrade public accesses and boat ramps alongthe rivers.
- Continue development of the C&O rails to trails projectin Craig County and provide adequate support facilities.
- Support development of equestrian trails in the region;including the Alleghany Highlands Horse Trail, a 45-mile systemconnecting trails in George Washington National Forest inAlleghany and Bath Counties with trails in Douthat State Park.

For Radford and Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties:
- Complete planning for the Rocky Knob multi-use facility,a cooperative effort between the National Park Service,Floyd and Patrick counties, and the private sector. Completionof this facility along the Blue Ridge Parkway will greatlyexpand the recreational opportunities available to parkwayusers in the region. Protection of the parkway’s viewshedand appropriate use of adjacent lands is crucial to itslong-term viability.
- Develop a trail to connect New River Trail State Park inPulaski with the Huckleberry Trail in Christiansburg.
- Study the recreational and river-access potential of RadfordUniversity’s newly acquired 75-acre RU-West propertyon the New River.
- Localities should use their land-use planning and zoningto protect viewsheds of the Appalachian Trail. In additionthe planned Appalachian National Scenic Trail crossing ofthe New River in Bluff City should be constructed.
- Study the New River from Whitethorne to Bluff City in Gilesand Montgomery counties for Virginia Scenic River designation.

For Danville and Martinsville; Franklin, Henry, Patrick andPittsylvania counties:
- Develop a plan to provide increased appropriate public accessto Grassy Hills Natural Area Preserve.
- Explore providing recreational opportunities in Patrickand Henry counties complementary to North Carolina’sproposed development of a new state park on the Mayo River.
- Increase river and water access with special attention onSmith Mountain Lake, the Blackwater and Pigg rivers.
- Study the South Mayo River in Patrick and Henry countiesfrom Route 653 to the North Carolina state line for designationas a Virginia Scenic River.
- The North Mayo River in Henry County from Route 695 to theNorth Carolina state line should also be evaluated for ScenicRiver eligibility.
- The Dan River Trail is a canoe trail that currently is developedand managed as a trail only in the North Carolina sectionof the Dan River. This trail should be continued into Virginiaand extended to Staunton River State Park. A series of managedaccess and public use areas should be provided to meet theneeds of canoe trail users while protecting riparian propertyowners.
- A system of trails/greenways throughout Danville shouldbe implemented using city-owned utility right-of-ways andother public and private properties. Components of the DanvilleRiverwalk Trail have been completed, and plans to extend thetrail are under development.
- Develop the Trans-Virginia Southern Trail from CumberlandGap to the Chesapeake Bay by linking existing and proposedtrails from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Fairy Stone State Parkand Philpott Reservoir along the Smith River Trail to Martinsville.Portions of the Danville to Winston Railway will connect toDanville using various existing and planned corridors. FromDanville the trail will follow the abandoned Norfolk, Franklinand Danville Railroad and the Richmond to Danville Railroadcorridors to link with components of the Tobacco HeritageTrail.

The Lynchburg Public Library is located at 2315 MemorialAve. in Lynchburg, the Roanoke Valley/Alleghany PDC officeis in Roanoke at 313 Luck Ave., S.W., the New River ValleyPDC office is in Radford at 6580 Valley Center Drive and theWest Piedmont PDC is located at 1100 Madison Street in Martinsville.

The draft VOP is also available for review on the DCR website.Go to www.dcr.virginia.gov;click on “Recreation Planning” then on “Draft2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan.” Comments will be acceptedthrough Dec. 15, 2006, and can be sent to Vop@dcr.virginia.gov.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: More recommendations are availablein each area listed)

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