WASHINGTON, D. C. (WVNS) — A public meeting is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 to discuss the re-designation of the New River Gorge. U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Designation Act late last month.
The Senators, along with Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV), will be at the Canyon Rim Visitors Center in Lansing on Wednesday. The meeting begins at 10 a.m.
The full text of the legislation can be viewed below.
ORIGINAL STORY: The New River Gorge may soon have a new designation. On Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Captio (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced the introduction of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Designation Act.
The legislation will redesignate the gorge from a National River to a National Park and Preserve. That will maintain hunting and fishing in the preserve area where sportsmen currently enjoy hunting and fishing.
“The New River Gorge is a special part of West Virginia and a real source of pride for our state,” Senator Capito said. “Whether it’s cheering on the BASE jumpers at Bridge Day, experiencing the thrill of world-class white water rafting, catching a glimpse into our state’s history and the unique geology of Appalachia, or taking in the beautiful panoramic views, the New River Gorge provides unlimited opportunities for thousands of visitors each year. Redesignating the National River to a National Park and Preserve will shine a new, brighter light on the New River Gorge and its many offerings—including hunting and fishing—to help drive tourism and spur the local and regional economy.”
“The New River Gorge is one of our most treasured playgrounds and largest tourist attractions in West Virginia. Over the last several months I have met with sportsmen and other interested groups to discuss ideas to make our backyard an even bigger attraction to visitors. Redesignating the New River Gorge as a National Park and Preserve creates new adventure opportunities while preserving the unique culture and traditions we take so much pride in,” said Senator Manchin, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The legislation aims to shine a new light on the New River Gorge and its many offerings. Outdoor recreation in West Virginia is a $9 billion industry. Studies have show that merely designating an area as a National Park has increased the number of visitors by 21-percent.
If passed, the act will specifically protect hunting, fishing and trapping on privately owned land and will preserve and help grow the vibrant outdoor recreation industry on the New River. It will also preserve the long and rich history of the New River Gorge.