“We are pleased to announce that the Trail Development Plan — Phase One/Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) is now available for public review and comment,” explained National Park Service Acting Superintendent Debbie Darden.
“The public has expressed a great deal of interest in developing additional trail opportunities for both hiking and bicycling within the park. We invite the public’s continued participation in this planning process by providing written comments and by attending the open house at Canyon Rim Visitor Center.”
The open house is set for Thursday, March 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, located off U.S. Route 19, just north of the New River Gorge Bridge.
The National Park Service proposes to develop new trails throughout areas of the northern half of the New River Gorge National River from McCreery north to the park boundary on river left in accordance with decisions made in the park’s approved General Management Plan. The plan/EA examines two alternatives.
The NPS Preferred Alternative proposes developing trail segments of the Through Park Connector and outside links and implementing park protocols for current and future trail design and construction that would avoid and minimize adverse impacts to the park’s natural and cultural resources.
“Area residents, business owners, local officials, and organizational representatives are encouraged to review the plan, and comment online, by mail, or attend the open house anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and tell us what they think,” said Darden.
The document can be viewed and public comments submitted in several ways:
— Online: Go to http://www.nps.gov/neri, from the hyperlinks along the left side, select “Management,” then “Park Planning,” then “Trail Development Plan – Phase One,” then “Document List” or “Open For Comment”
— Hard copies: Can be viewed at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, Sandstone Visitor Center, and at the Park Headquarters in Glen Jean. Limited hard copies are available upon request. Send written requests to the address below or call 304-465-6527
— Send written comments to: NPS – New River Gorge National River, Attn: Superintendent; Comment on Trail Development EA, PO Box 246, Glen Jean, WV 25846-0246.
Please submit comments online or by mail no later than April 5.
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