Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, firstname.lastname@example.org, 804-786-5045.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 09, 2006
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, email@example.com
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’s outdoor recreation, conservation and open space plan, including local recommendations, will be the focus of meetings held in Lynchburg, Roanoke, Radford and Martinsville.
Planners from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will present the draft Virginia Outdoors Plan at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. meetings at the Lynchburg Public Library, Monday, Nov. 27; the Roanoke Valley/Alleghany Planning District Commission office in Roanoke, Tuesday, Nov. 28; the New River Valley PDC office in Radford, Monday, Dec. 4 and the West Piedmont PDC office in Martinsville, Tuesday, Dec. 5. These are among more than 40 meetings to be held statewide Oct. through Dec.
The Virginia Outdoors Plan is the state’s official conservation, outdoor recreation and open space guide. All levels of government and the private sector use it in determining and meeting land conservation, outdoor recreation and open space needs. Recommendations in the plan are also used as one of the tools in ranking projects for Virginia Land Conservation Foundation funds.
“The VOP has long been an important tool in meeting Virginians’ outdoor recreational needs,” said DCR Director Joseph H. Maroon. “With Gov. Kaine’s commitment to land conservation, 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 assistance from Virginia Commonwealth University and last fall held a series of 40 public input meetings statewide. Among the topics brought up in those meetings were trails and greenway linkages, water trails and scenic waterways, urban greenspace, eco-tourism and nature deficit disorder. Local outdoor recreation and conservation recommendations also surfaced. Recommendations found in the draft plan include:
For Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford
and Campbell :
- Complete development of the James River Heritage Trail from Lynchburg to Richmond.
- Support development of the region’s 2003 Greenway and Blueways Plan.
- Create a trail connection between the Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park and the High Bridge Trail State Park.
- Localities should work to protect scenic views in the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail viewsheds.
- Identify and develop additional public water accesses along recreational rivers throughout the region.
For the cities of Covington,Roanoke and Salem; Alleghany,
Boutetourt, Craig and Roanoke counties:
- Complete development through the Allegheny Mountains of the Great Eastern Trail proposed to link existing trails from central Alabama to central New York along the Allegheny Highlands.
- Designate the historic Valley Road, Route 11, as a Virginia Scenic Byway.
- Develop the 17-mile Jackson River Scenic Trail as a greenway and water trail from Alleghany County to Lake Moomaw and into Highland County.
- Develop and upgrade public accesses and boat ramps along the rivers.
- Continue development of the C&O rails to trails project in Craig County and provide adequate support facilities.
- Support development of equestrian trails in the region; including the Alleghany Highlands Horse Trail, a 45-mile system connecting trails in George Washington National Forest in Alleghany 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. Completion of this facility along the Blue Ridge Parkway will greatly expand the recreational opportunities available to parkway users in the region. Protection of the parkway’s viewshed and appropriate use of adjacent lands is crucial to its long-term viability.
- Develop a trail to connect New River Trail State Park in Pulaski with the Huckleberry Trail in Christiansburg.
- Study the recreational and river-access potential of Radford University’s newly acquired 75-acre RU-West property on the New River.
- Localities should use their land-use planning and zoning to protect viewsheds of the Appalachian Trail. In addition the planned Appalachian National Scenic Trail crossing of the New River in Bluff City should be constructed.
- Study the New River from Whitethorne to Bluff City in Giles and Montgomery counties for Virginia Scenic River designation.
For Danville and Martinsville; Franklin, Henry, Patrick and
- Develop a plan to provide increased appropriate public access to Grassy Hills Natural Area Preserve.
- Explore providing recreational opportunities in Patrick and Henry counties complementary to North Carolina’s proposed development of a new state park on the Mayo River.
- Increase river and water access with special attention on Smith Mountain Lake, the Blackwater and Pigg rivers.
- Study the South Mayo River in Patrick and Henry counties from Route 653 to the North Carolina state line for designation as a Virginia Scenic River.
- The North Mayo River in Henry County from Route 695 to the North Carolina state line should also be evaluated for Scenic River eligibility.
- The Dan River Trail is a canoe trail that currently is developed and managed as a trail only in the North Carolina section of the Dan River. This trail should be continued into Virginia and extended to Staunton River State Park. A series of managed access and public use areas should be provided to meet the needs of canoe trail users while protecting riparian property owners.
- A system of trails/greenways throughout Danville should be implemented using city-owned utility right-of-ways and other public and private properties. Components of the Danville Riverwalk Trail have been completed, and plans to extend the trail are under development.
- Develop the Trans-Virginia Southern Trail from Cumberland Gap to the Chesapeake Bay by linking existing and proposed trails from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Fairy Stone State Park and Philpott Reservoir along the Smith River Trail to Martinsville. Portions of the Danville to Winston Railway will connect to Danville using various existing and planned corridors. From Danville the trail will follow the abandoned Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railroad and the Richmond to Danville Railroad corridors to link with components of the Tobacco Heritage Trail.
The Lynchburg Public Library is located at 2315 Memorial Ave. in Lynchburg, the Roanoke Valley/Alleghany PDC office is in Roanoke at 313 Luck Ave., S.W., the New River Valley PDC office is in Radford at 6580 Valley Center Drive and the West 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 “Draft 2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan.” Comments will be accepted through Dec. 15, 2006, and can be sent to Vop@dcr.virginia.gov.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: More recommendations are available in each area listed)
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