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PRESS RELEASE

Immediate Release
March 27, 2009

Contact:
Sherman Bamford, Public Lands Coordinator, Virginia Forest Watch: 540-343-6359
Mark Miller, Public Lands Committee Chair, Virginia Forest Watch: 540-460-0593


Virginia Ridge and Valley Act Passes Both Houses of Congress

Bill Protecting 53,000 of the Jefferson National Forest goes to President for Signature

The Virginia Ridge and Valley Act, a wilderness and national scenic area bill that protects 53,000 acres of southwestern Virginia’s most unique wild places, passed the US House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Virginia Forest Watch was one of several conservation groups taking a leading role in shepherding the bill through Congress.

The bill establishes six new wilderness areas, a wilderness study area, and two new scenic areas, and will expand six existing wilderness areas in the Jefferson National Forest.

The Virginia Ridge and Valley Act has broad bi-partisan support including a majority of the Virginia congressional delegation, current and past governors of Virginia, Virginia Tourism Corporation, local businesses, faith groups, Garden Club of Virginia, and International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Once signed into law by the President, protected areas will include:
Stone Mountain Wilderness Area, in Lee County
Bear Creek National Scenic Area, in Smyth County
Lynn Camp Creek Wilderness Study Area, in Bland County
Garden Mountain Wilderness Area, in Bland County
Hunting Camp Creek Wilderness Area, in Bland County
Brush Mountain East Wilderness Area, in Craig County
Brush Mountain Wilderness Area, in Montgomery County
Raccoon Branch Wilderness Area, in Smyth County
Seng Mountain National Scenic Area, in Smyth County
Shawvers Run Wilderness Addition, in Craig County
Mountain Lake Wilderness Addition, in Craig County, Giles County, Va. & Monroe County, WV
Peters Mountain Wilderness Addition, in Giles County
Little Wilson Creek Wilderness Addition, in Grayson County
Lewis Fork Wilderness Addition, in Grayson County, &
Kimberling Creek Wilderness Addition, in Bland County

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Maps and Photos

Maps of newly protected areas: (Based on Forest Service GIS data)

Map of all areas

Map of Clinch area

Map of Mt. Rogers/Walker Mountain area

Map of Mountain Lake area

 

Photos of newly protected areas:

Brush Mountain
Wilderness Area

Seng Mountain
National Scenic Area


Stone Mountain
Wilderness Area

Raccoon Branch
Wilderness Area


Lynn Camp Creek
Wilderness Study Area