Virginia Wilderness - Keeping it like it is
Facts about the Virginia Ridge and Valley Act 2007
Proposed Wilderness Areas
Mountain - 3,270 acres, Lee County
Wilderness Study Area
National Scenic Areas
additions to existing Wilderness Areas
What is a National Scenic Area? A National Scenic Area (NSA) is established by Congress to protect the scenic, cultural, historic, recreational and natural resources in specific areas, while allowing compatible uses. The management policies for the area are set forth in the legislation designating the specific NSA.
What NSAs are designated in the bill? The bill designates two new NSAs in Virginia. The Seng Mountain National Scenic Area would be a 6,455-acre scenic area located in Smyth County. Bear Creek, also located in Smyth County would be the other NSA. The Bear Creek National Scenic Area would be 5,128 acres.
Are there other NSAs in Virginia? Yes. In 1994, Congress established the 7,580-acre Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area. Located in Amherst County, the Mount Pleasant NSA contains some of Virginia’s most popular hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail. Mount Pleasant is also a popular destination for camping, hunting and fishing.
Are hunting and fishing permitted in the NSAs? Yes, hunting and fishing are permitted in the NSAs and wilderness areas designated by this proposal. The legislation specifically guarantees motorized access on Forest Development Road 9410 and 84b in the Seng Mountain NSA during deer and bear hunting seasons.
What other recreational opportunities exist in the proposed NSAs? In addition to hunting and fishing, a variety of recreational activities can occur in the proposed NSAs including hiking, horseback riding, camping and mountain biking. The legislation also directs the Forest Service to develop a trail plan of non-motorized recreation trails in the scenic areas.