Statement of Mike Matz, Executive Director, Campaign for America's Wilderness on House Natural Resource Committee Markup of Virginia Wilderness Bill
Virginians are an important step closer to ensuring a greater natural legacy for their children and grandchildren. We applaud the House Natural Resources Committee today for moving the bipartisan and broadly-backed Virginia Ridge and Valley Act forward. The measure, which would give Virginia its first new wilderness since 2000, would forever protect 55,000 acres in the Jefferson National Forest as wilderness, wilderness study or national scenic areas. This is a key step for this bill, which has the backing of a broad local coalition, including county supervisors.
Today, less than one percent of the Commonwealth's land is protected as wilderness. Swift passage of this conservation bill would ensure that special wild places like Brush Mountain, Racoon Branch, Hunting Camp Creek and Stone Mountain can be enjoyed by all the hikers, hunters, campers, kayakers, birdwatchers, climbers, and anglers who will come after us. We commend Senator Warner and Representative Boucher for championing this important measure, and we are especially grateful for the leadership of Natural Resource Committee Chairman Nick Rahall and Subcommittee Chair Raul Grijalva for skillfully guiding the measure today.
Last Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2007