Rich Hole & Rough Mountain Wilderness Additions Bill
In October 2017, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine introduced an important bill, co-sponsored by Senator Mark Warner, that was cause for celebration. The Virginia Wilderness Additions Act of 2017 called for designating an additional 5,600 acres of the George Washington (GW) National Forest as Wilderness. Those lands, which are already part of the GW, would be added to two existing Wilderness areas, expanding protections for this remarkable area to nearly 21,000 acres, located in the rugged territory in southeastern Bath County. The bill was wrapped up into the 2018 Farm Bill, but did not make it into the final piece of legislation.
In January 2019, Senator Kaine and Senator Warner re-introduced S.247 - Virginia Wilderness Additions Act of 2019; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. In January 2020, the bill passes the Senate. See Senator Kaine's press release.
In February 2021, Representatives Abigail Spanberger and Donald McEachin, co-sponsored the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act H.R. 803. This bill passed the House and now moves on to the Senate.
In March 2021, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner reintroduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act.
If you are interested in learning more about this bill, the Lower Cowpasture project, and the work we've done, along with many partners, over several years to make it happen, click here.
See Rich Hole & Rough Mountain Wilderness Additions Brochure.
VWC Celebrates 55 years of Protecting Public Lands in Virginia
In May of this year, the VWC will reach a milestone, celebrating 55 years of advocacy for the establishment of Wilderness Areas and National Scenic Areas in Virginia. In 1969 a group of interested people was assembled by the Wilderness Society to discuss the five-year-old Wilderness Act of 1964 and its relevance for Virginia. Sign up for e-news or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more.
Help us protect Virginia's wild places!
Wilderness designation on federal lands assures that exceptional wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, clean air, and unique recreation will remain for future generations.