New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Proposal

WV Rivers’ board member, Paul Breuer, speaks during the public meeting on the New River Gorge designation change.

Local residents and business owners of Fayetteville gathered for a public meeting on Wednesday October 9th at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. The topic, the proposed designation of the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV) along with Congresswoman Carol Miller and the current NPS superintendent of the area, Lizzie Watts, hosted the meeting providing an overview presentation of the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Act legislation along with the accompanying maps and fielded questions from the community attendees.

The legislation calls for new boundaries of the public land, which will change the usage of 4,000 acres of currently open to hunting will no longer be. These areas will be around Thurmond, Grandview with the largest area from Cunard to Hawk’s Nest, commonly referred to as “the whitewater district”.

Senators and staff assured community members that there will be no fees, but that could change in the future if the National Park Service deems it necessary. The park could receive more funding for needed infrastructure updates depending on the amount of visitation.

Senator Manchin and his staff were very attentive during and after the meeting. Taking notes about map adjustments and talking with constituents after the presentation. The Senator encouraged his constituents to follow-up with his office over the upcoming months.

Each of the legislators agreed that they would like to see this legislation passed by November 2020.

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