WV Land Trust Purchases 665 Acres Around Gauley River to Protect - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Land Trust Purchases 665 Acres Around Gauley River to Protect Land

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The West Virginia Land Trust purchased 665 acres of land within the Gauley River National Recreation Area last week in an effort to protect the region.

The area, known as the Gauley Canyon, had once been considered for development, but the purchase will ensure that the land “will remain intact and be managed to provide forests, river access, and recreational opportunities for the public,” the Land Trust said in a news release.

“The acquisition of this property represents the culmination of many months of cooperative discussions with owners who chose to forgo their own development plans in favor of protecting some of West Virginia’s most iconic land,” said Brent Bailey, executive director of the Land Trust. “Not only will views in the canyon be protected, but the essence of West Virginia’s beauty will continue to be on display for the thousands of people who visit the Gauley River each year.”

The Land Trust purchased the properties from Bright Forestland Properties, Larry Deitz, and the Anne E. Deitz Trust.

“The Deitz and Bright families are also pleased to have been able to work with the West Virginia Land Trust to transfer this property,” said Bill Bright, previous owner of a transferred property. “This will preserve a beautiful and special place for all to enjoy in West Virginia.”

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is also on board with the acquisition.

“DNR is supportive of efforts to make more land available to our citizens and visitors for the preservation of our state’s natural beauty and to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing,” said DNR Director Frank Jezioro.

The GRNRA contains 25 miles of the Gauley River and five miles of the neighboring Meadow River. The newly protected area includes land on both sides of the Gauley River, just downstream of its confluence with the Meadow River.

“We are very grateful that this transfer of lands could take place,” Bailey said.