The National Park Service is asking the public to help it peer into the future of the New River Gorge National River.

The NPS has announced a series of meetings for the purpose of discussing revision of the long-range general management plan (GMP) for the park, as well as a strategy that will lead to creation of a new implementation plan for the Nuttallburg mine site.

The GMP was last revised and distributed to the public in 1982, according to NRGNR public affairs specialist Lorrie Sprague.

“Things have changed so dramatically since then,” said Sprague.

The revised management plan will provide a framework for the next 15 years in regards to protecting park resources and providing for appropriate visitor experiences, park officials say. The implementation plan will focus on preservation and management activities for the nationally-significant resources at the historic Nuttallburg mine site.

“Public participation is an essential aspect of the GMP planning process,” explained NPS Superintendent Cal Hite, “and we have scheduled a series of meetings and open houses that will provide information about these plans and opportunities for involvement.

“Area residents, business owners, local officials and organizational representatives are all encouraged to attend any of these meetings and share their thoughts.”

Meetings are as follows:

Hinton — Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Memorial Building Auditorium, 97 Park Avenue (corner of Park Ave. and James Street);

Beckley — Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 3 to 5 p.m., Tamarack Conference Center One, Tamarack Park (exit 45, I-77); and

Fayetteville — Thursday, Jan. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m., Lafayette Post 149, American Legion Hall, 205 West Maple Avenue.

For more information, visit the park website (www.nps.gov/neri.htm), or call 304-465-6526 to be put on a mailing list to receive periodic updates on the project.

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