In 2011 the Virginia Wilderness Committee (VWC) invited other National Forest Stakeholder to come together to discuss GWNF management issues. The resulting agreement supported by conservationist, timber, games and recreation interests called for significant additions to the Rich Hole and Rough Mountain Wildernesses. It also requested that the agency begin landscape scale planning for project implementation. Stakeholders agreed to work with each other and with the FS to ensure that impediments to project planning would be reduced through continued dialogue and collaboration.
The LC was kicked off in April, 2013 with a public meeting in Millboro, Virginia. The project included
recommendations for timber harvest levels, wildlife openings, stream restoration projects, prescribed fire,
closures of illegal road, trail construction, and wilderness additions. As the project moved forward an American
Chestnut Restoration component was added.
The draft EA proposes over 3500 acres of active management activity on the 78,000 acre project area, including regeneration harvesting and thinning. Some the harvest units would also include study areas to determine the effects of biomass harvest on soils quality. This will be the first such study in the central Appalachians. It also calls for the construction of over fourteen miles of new trail, closure of nineteen unauthorized roads, stream bank stabilization on Simpson Creek, as well as recognition of the importance of wilderness as part of a forest
Your help is need today to ensure that the LC becomes a reality and thus allows the VWC to begin a legislative process to ensure that these two additions are added to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Please contact the FS and express your support for the Lower Cowpasture Restoration and Management Project.
For information on the LC and other projects we are involved with, please contact our Field Director, Mark
Miller at (540) 464-1661 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Send comments to the FS in one of the following ways:
- Faxed to 540-839-2496.
- Mailed to the James River Ranger District, 810A Madison Ave., Covington, VA 24426, or Warm Springs Ranger District, 422 Forestry Road, Hot Springs, VA 24445.
- Given orally at 540-839-2521.
Oral or mailed comments must be received within our normal business hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday
through Friday, excluding holidays.
Please state "Lower Cowpasture Project" in the subject line when providing electronic comments, or on the
envelope when replying by mail.
Comments are due by June 15, 2015