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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 19, 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’soutdoor recreation, conservation and open space plan, includinglocal recommendations, will be the focus of four public meetingsheld in Fredericksburg and Warsaw, Monday, Oct. 30.

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 George Washington RegionalCommission Office in Fredericksburg and the Northern NeckPlanning District Commission Office in Warsaw. These are amongmore 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 City of Fredericksburg and Stafford, Spotsylvania, KingGeorge, Caroline counties:
- Complete the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail thatconnects natural and cultural features along a 700-mile corridorof the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay to the AlleghenyHighlands. The National Park System manages this partnership.
- Support the establishment of Fredericksburg Pathways, asystem of bicycle and pedestrian trails that connect Fredericksburgsites. Trails included in the Fredericksburg Pathways systeminclude the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail and the VirginiaCentral Rail Trail, as well as other proposed pathways.
- Evaluate for Virginia Scenic River designation the RappahannockRiver in Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Carolinecounties, between the City of Fredericksburg and the KingGeorge/Westmoreland County line.

For Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, Lancaster counties:
- Incorporate the National Park Service’s Captain JohnSmith National Historic Trail in local comprehensive plansas a way to further heritage and ecotourism in the region.
- Support the National Park Service’s Potomac HeritageNational Scenic Trail along the lower Potomac region to createconnections by water by developing water trails and makingappropriate land connections for vehicles and bicyclists tokey tourist destination sites.
- State agencies should work with the Northern Neck PublicAccess Authority to obtain funding for additional public accesssites, especially at previous ferry landing locations.

The George Washington Regional Commission Office is locatedat 3304 Bourbon Street, Fredericksburg. The Northern VirginiaPDC Office is at 457 Main Street in Warsaw.
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 to vop@dcr.virginia.gov.

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