Democratic News

Manchin: I will bring the ideas and concerns we discussed today back with me to Washington

Lansing, WV – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), along with Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV), held a public meeting with business owners, outdoorsmen, community leaders and local residents to discuss the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Act. The legislation, introduced by Senators Manchin and Capito, would redesignate the New River Gorge National River as the New River Gorge Park and Preserve.

“Today we had a productive conversation about the future of the New River Gorge. West Virginians take great pride in our outdoor heritage and particularly the New River Gorge National River. The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Designation Act will bring renewed recognition to a cherished West Virginia playground. The next step is a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. As Ranking Member of the Committee, I will bring the ideas and concerns we discussed today with me back to Washington as I work to ensure this bill becomes law,” Senator Manchin said.

Last week, Ranking Member Manchin and Senator Capito introduced the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act. The legislation will maintain hunting and fishing within the preserve area—areas where sportsmen currently enjoy hunting and fishing. The legislation also specifically protects hunting, fishing, and trapping on privately owned land and will preserve and help grow the vibrant outdoor recreation industry on the New River. The New River Gorge has a long and rich history, which is also preserved through this legislation.   

In West Virginia, outdoor recreation is a $9 billion industry and one that supports more than 91,000 jobs. Studies have shown that mere designation of a monument or area to National Park status has increased the number of visitors by 21 percent. By redesignating the New River Gorge National River to the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, this area stands to benefit tremendously. 

For full text of the legislation, click here.

For a map of the proposed boundaries, click here.

For more information on the New River Gorge, click here.

To view photos from today's open meeting, click here.

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