Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 22

COUNTRY ROADS

Progress has
been made
to protect
90,000 acres
in Virginia's
Highland,
Augusta and
Rockingham
counties.

Friends Group Seeks to Protect 90,000 Acres of National Forest

A

grassroots group in Virginia working to protect
one of the largest, most unfragmented tracts
of forestland in the East has picked up several key
endorsements. The Staunton City Council and
Highland County Chamber of Commerce have both
endorsed the Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic
Area proposal. The proposal covers 90,000 acres of
public land on the George Washington National
Forest in the counties of Highland, Augusta and
Rockingham, and includes four areas for potential

Crayfish
Comeback?

T

wo crayfish nearing extinction could have a lot more
room to roam if a federal plan to
protect their habitat is approved. The
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes
designating 445 stream miles in West
Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky as critical habitat for the Big Sandy and the
Guyandotte River crayfish. Any project
with federal funding or permitting would have
to check with the wildlife agency first to make
sure the species are not harmed. The crayfish
have lost between 60% and 90% of their
range due to water pollution, largely from coal
mining. Not only do crayfish filter impurities
from water, they are a food source for trout
and other fish. "Protecting the habitat of these
unique species will not only help prevent their
extinction, but safeguard water quality for
people too," said Perrin de Jong with the Center for Biological Diversity, which had sued the
agency to list the species for special protection
in 2016. biologicaldiversity.org.
-CAT MCCUE

22

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

designation as federal wilderness. If Congress approves
the plan, the acreage would be off-limits to industrial
development like mining and gas drilling, and
visitors would continue to enjoy the area for hunting,
fishing, hiking, mountain biking and other recreation.
The group, Friends of Shenandoah Mountain, has
worked for several years and garnered endorsements
from more than 400 organizations, businesses, faith
groups and others, and hundreds of individuals.
friendsofshenandoahmountain.org

The Book Short
"A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia." Rose McLarney and Laura-Gray
Street, eds. L.L. Gaddy, Natural History Editor. University of Georgia Press, 205 pp.
-REVIEW BY JOAN VANNORSDALL

T

his is a book
to take to
the woods
when the
tulip poplars
are in bloom,
the trillium
opening and
the peepers
singing. It's
a beautiful volume, with natural
history, poems and illustrations laid
out for Appalachian wanderers. Sixty
species of trees and flowers, mammals and reptiles, fish and invertebrates get their due in McLarney's
and Street's hardcover book. It's a
volume that honors not only the biodiversity of the southern Appalachian
region, but its literary and artistic
richness.
Let it speak for itself in Douglas
Van Gundy's "Ravens":

If they catch me
with my camera, they're gone.
I've always assumed
they see it as a gun
but maybe they know
it's a camera after all,
understanding the limits
the lens imposes upon them,
the inaccuracy of any image
that holds them static. Maybe
they want simply to be seen
in all their glossy black complexity-
songbirds and scavengers,
mimics and tool-makers,
at home in language
and the silence of the sky
they scissor with their wings-
or else not be seen at all.	


http://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org http://www.biologicaldiversity.org http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020

Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover3
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Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover4
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