Forest Service plans to improve river access at two points and wildflower trail in Page County

Shenandoah river

~ Press release provided by U.S. Forest Service

ROANOKE, April 5 — The USDA Forest Service and the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) announce funding for local projects In the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to improve forest conditions for the public in four Virginia counties.

Funding comes from Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and was allocated by the Virginia RAC. RAC members work collaboratively with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and partners to improve forest conditions through projects that provide local jobs, restore landscapes, enhance recreation, combat invasive species, and engage youth. 

The RAC consists of 15 members who represent a variety of interest groups who review and recommend approval of forest improvement projects the Secure Rural Schools program. Secure Rural Schools payments are appropriated by the U.S. Congress.

“Thank you to our partners on the Virginia Resource Advisory Committee, who volunteered their time and expertise to produce an excellent slate of recreation projects,” stated Job Timm, Forest Supervisor. “We aim to enhance the ability of local communities to enjoy the bounty of Virginia’s natural resources and the Virginia RAC’s work does just that.”

Tom Richardson, RAC Chair, said, “Everyone involved with the process was easy to work with. It was a pleasure to be the chair of this outstanding group of involved citizens and our US Forest Service partners. We feel very good about the projects that we considered because they are creative and timely.” 

The RAC made these recommendations at its March 15, 2022, meeting:

  • Shenandoah River Access Rehabilitation (Page County)

Funding will repair and upgrade visitor access and restrooms at two primary access points along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River: $ 11,218. 

  • Alleghany and Bath 50 Mile Trail Project (Bath & Alleghany Counties)

Funding to clear approximately 50 miles of hiking trails in the two counties: $38,860          

  • Alleghany Highlands Blueway River Mile Markers (Alleghany County)

Mile markers will be located on the Jackson and Cowpasture rivers to provide a safe and enjoyable experiences – $10,000 

  • Hidden Valley Nature Watch Trail Maintenance (Bath County)

Trail bridge improvement, stream channel stabilization and signage along the 1.4 mile loop: $5,000 

  • Dry Run Stream Restoration (Smyth County)

Restoration work on the floodplain and stream stabilization with native vegetation and in-stream structures: $24,794 The RAC also recommended for future funding:

  • Wildflower/Discovery Way Trails and Parking Area Repair (Page County)

The project goal is to repair the Wildflower & Discovery Way Trails and make targeted upgrades to the parking area for visitor safety.

For more information about the VA Resource Advisory Committee and to see how you can get involved, visit the Forest website https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gwj/workingtogether/advisorycommittees 

Follow the Forest Service on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GWJNF

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