The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

October 3, 2012

Editorial: Wet the dries?

Commission did right thing in choosing to support a study

The idea of creating an additional stretch of 5.3 miles of whitewater in Fayette County has been put on the table for consideration as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) prepares to conduct hearings on the relicensing of the hydropower facility at the Hawks Nest Dam.

A coalition has been formed in support of an initiative called “Wet the Dries” that refers to a stretch of the New River that currently has extremely low flow levels due to the current water flow release protocol.

Under the group’s plan, the water flow would be increased from Memorial Day through Labor Day in order to create a new rafting experience, on slower Class III water, that would be more suited to families, especially those with younger children.

It is the one area of the rafting business, which has been suffering a national decline, where there is a significant growth being experienced.

The Hawks Nest Hydropower plant provides power-generating for a smelting facility at Alloy. Proponents of the “Wet the Dries” plan say it won’t negatively impact that process and they would not support the movement if it would negatively impact jobs at that site.

Another group, “Keep the Dries Dry,” opposes the new plan, claiming there is plenty of whitewater already available and that hydroelectric power needs outweigh the needs for additional recreational opportunities.

There are two sides to every issue and on Friday the Fayette County Commission did the prudent thing by not taking a position one way or the other but agreeing to send a letter to FERC in support of a study.

Exploring all the options has to be the way these types of issues are handled.

The public needs to have as many of the details as possible in order to decide whether to support or oppose.

Two public meetings have already been scheduled by FERC. One on Oct. 17 at Hawks Nest State Park Lodge at 7 p.m. is primarily being held to accept public input. On Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. at the same site, a hearing will focus on resource agency, Indian tribes and non-governmental organization concerns.

FERC is encouraging everyone interested to attend to help identify particular study needs and to identify environmental issues that need to be considered.

The process is open to the public to get involved and a study is certainly warranted.

Text Only
Local News
  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • apt bldg1.jpg Demolition and disposal

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos