Impasse Over Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail?
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Allegheny Wood Products Holds the Key!
The Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail is one of the state’s premier trails, popular with hikers, bikers, and skiers. Because of bizarre ownership issues, nobody is able to take responsibility for the Trail and its maintenance. In a nutshell, Allegheny Wood Products owns half of the trail, and the U.S. Forest Service owns the other half. Presently, numerous hikers and other recreational users — all of them, actually — probably trespass on private property when they use the Trail.
The Forest Service recently offered a solution to the problem. Allegheny would be granted the right to upgrade key historic portions to allow for possible future emergency access. In return the Forest Service would be granted the right to undertake simple and basic trail maintenance, and the public would obtain access — legal access — to the whole trail.
Uncleared blowdown totally blocks the Trail !!
At this time, the “olive branch” is out. The Forest Service has offered a fair deal that in effect would finally resolve the decades-long murkiness over ownership and public access. But also at this time, Allegheny has not picked up the olive branch. They have yet to reach agreement on the Forest Service offer.
Why does it matter? Because the condition of the Trail has deteriorated for years now. Blow downs are not cleared. Huge sinkholes have appeared in the trail. Without an agreement that includes maintenance, this will only get worse. A top quality premier trail will inexorably go downhill without basic maintenance.
What You Can Do!
Let John Crites, President of Allegheny Wood Products, know that you want to see the Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail cared for … for the outstanding recreational opportunities it provides to thousands of West Virginia citizens. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You might also ask him why the company website has a Chinese flag side by side with the Stars-and-Stripes!?!