Birthplace of Rivers National Monument Proposal
Proposal reflects a collaborative vision to protect access and preserve this treasured land.
The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument proposal is the product of input from stakeholders, including user groups, land managers and local residents. When collecting input from the general public, several key priorities were commonly identified. The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument proposal reflects a shared vision to address these priorities. These include maintaining hunting and fishing access, preserving recreational access for activities such as mountain biking, and ensuring the area would continue to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Common priorities in local communities include maintaining a role for the timber industry, preserving access for gathering of wild edible plants, ensuring the designation does not affect private land, and protecting access for specific activities such as trapping and hunting with dogs. The proposal also addresses these concerns. Additionally, stakeholders, the general public and local governments want a say in future management decisions. The proposal requires a management plan and future management decisions to be drafted with maximum public input – because future stakeholder and public input is not guaranteed, this is one of the strongest reasons to pursue national monument designation.
Cornerstone values of the National Monument proposal:
-Permanence to protect against threats that would impact the way West Virginians and our visitors experience this special area.
-Flexibility in management to address forest restoration, active habitat improvement, outbreaks of insects or disease, invasive plants and other emergencies.
-Continued access for hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering of wild edible plants and all other currently-allowed recreational activities.
-Guaranteed input in future management decisions. Public input is not guaranteed if this area is not protected, but monument designation can help guarantee we all have a say in this area’s future.