Scenic river designation sought for Appomattox
By MICHAEL BUETTNER, STAFF WRITER
Publication: The Progress - Index (Petersburg, Virginia)
Date: Sunday, February 7 2010
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The plan proposed by the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River, or FOLAR, a Petersburg-based nonprofit group, would extend the Scenic River designation to the stretch of the river from Campbell's Bridge between Ettrick and Petersburg downstream to where the Appomattox meets the James River in Hopewell.
K. Wayne Walton, chairman of FOLAR, noted that the section of river upstream from Campbell's Bridge to the George F. Brasfield Dam that forms Lake Chesdin has been part of the Scenic Rivers system for several years.
"When FOLAR started in 2001, we set some goals for trails, to protect the river and so on," Walton said. "Two years ago we voted to ask to have the lower part of the river added to the system."
From FOLAR's point of view, the designation would be a plus for its efforts to promote recreational use of the river and its environs, Walton said. "It becomes another tool when you're applying for grants and getting tourism and economic development people involved."
The Scenic River designation, which is administered by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, requires approval from all local governments that adjoin the designated waterway. In this case, that means Chesterfield County, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Prince George County and Hopewell all must OK the proposal, Walton said.
So far, all of those localities except Chesterfield have passed resolutions supporting the plan, said Lynn Crump, environmental programs planner for the conservation department. Chesterfield's Board of Supervisors is expected to consider a resolution of support in the near future.
Petersburg's resolution endorsed the proposal on condition that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers certify that the designation would not interfere with the city's plan to dredge the river, Crump said. Because dredging is unlikely to affect the scenic quality of the river, the new designation should have no effect on the dredging plan, she said.
The next step in the designation process is for a state legislator to introduce a resolution in the General Assembly to place the specified stretch of river on the state's list, Crump said. She added that she believes the legislature will view the plan favorably.