Hands Across the Appalachian Trail


SAVE THE DATE!

Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 11 AM – 1 PM, Humpback Rocks Visitor’s Center and Picnic Area, Milepost 5.8, Blue Ridge Parkway, Lyndhurst, VA 22952. Hosted by Sierra Club Virginia Chapter

Join your friends and neighbors at the Fourth Annual Hands Across the Appalachian Trail! Be part of this special weekend of events across the state on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, as we work to protect our communities, water, air, land and natural treasures from the threats posed by unneeded and harmful fracked gas pipelines.

The Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines propose to cross several nationally known and highly popular public recreational areas including the George Washington National Forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Eastern Trail, and – the iconic Appalachian Trail. The dedicated work of volunteers, community groups, allies, legal advocates and individuals has led to Stop Work Orders and further delays of the pipelines, and the efforts to stop these fracked-gas project continues.

The Hands Across the Appalachian Trail events features the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s vision to “connect the human spirit with nature – preserving the delicate majesty of the Trail as a haven for all to enjoy.” Come celebrate the Appalachian Trail, meet others working to protect it and enjoy food, music, and speakers!

The Saturday, September 28 event will take place at:
Humpback Rocks Visitors Center/Augusta County: Humpback Rocks Visitor’s Center and Picnic Area, Milepost 5.8, Blue Ridge Parkway, Lyndhurst, VA 22952

For more information contact:
Jessica Sims:
jessica.sims@sierraclub.org 804-366-0745
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 28!

Other Hands Across the Appalachian Trail events:

Saturday, September 28, 11am-1pm
Giles County/Pearisburg: Route 100 intersection with Appalachian Trail (Trailhead), 2030 Narrows Road, Pearisburg, VA 24134 (Bluff City)

Sunday, September 29, 11am-1pm
Bears Den, 18393 Blue Ridge Mountain Road, Bluemont, VA 20135

Powerless: The High Cost of Cheap Gas

When the U.S. declared the discovery of natural gas reserves large enough to propel the country to energy independence, property owners in West Virginia could never have imagined how that discovery might affect them. CBSN Originals and ProPublica traveled to West Virginia’s “gas patch” to meet landowners Beth Crowder and David Wentz, a once-married couple who found themselves in the crosshairs of Big Gas and joined forces to fight back.

Wintergreen Responds to FERC’s defense of ACP

On July 10, 2019, Friends of Wintergreen, Wintergreen Property Owners Association, and the Fairway Woods Homeowners Condominium Association jointly responded to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s defense of the $7.5 B Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Wintergreen plaintiffs are challenging FERC’s order to approve the project, saying FERC was “arbitrary and capricious” in its approval and did not consider several critical factors, such as community safety issues. The next step in the process will be oral arguments before the 5th Circuit Federal Court or a decision.

Friends of Wintergreen announcement here.

See the filing here.

News You May Have Missed


There’s been a lot going on – here are some news items from our In the News page you may have missed (many additional interesting news articles on that page).

ACP Seeks Lease on Site in Amherst

On July 11, 2019, the Lynchburg News Advance reported that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline seeks to lease Amherst site for storage, transporting workers.

The site the ACP wants to lease “is about 45 acres in the back of the industrial park, which is a short drive from U.S. 29 Business in Amherst and directly on the U.S. 60 corridor. The use of the land is for storage, placing equipment and mobilizing workers to bus to Nelson and Buckingham counties, which are among about 30 localities on the pipeline’s route through Virginia and North Carolina.”

The Amherst Town Manager and the County Administrator both spoke positively of the improvements they believe would be made to the site and of the short term revenue for the town. The article notes that, despite opposition to the ACP across Virginia, “Amherst has been relatively quiet with pipeline debate as the route has steered clear of its foothills and valleys.”

Public hearings are required any time public town-owned land is leased or sold. According to the News Advance article, the required public hearing is expected to take placed during council’s 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Amherst town hall meeting room, 174 South Main St., Amherst.

What Can You Do?

What can you do while we wait on the courts for hearings and decisions on the several pipeline-related issues? You could:

  • Tell FERC: Stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline to protect Appalachia’s endangered species. In April 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began to evaluate the impacts of sediment pollution from construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline on local threatened and endangered species. The agency expressed its concern in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Although the agency’s initial analysis demonstrated that endangered species, including the endemic Roanoke Logperch, are at increased risk, work on the pipeline continues, and the well-being of the logperch, the candy darter, the Indiana bat and more remains under threat. FERC has the authority to stop construction of the MVP to ensure the protection of Appalachia’s biodiversity!  Send a message to FERC via the Appalachian Voices Web page.
  • Tell Congress: Don’t let Dominion convince Congress to sneak in a rider to critical legislation which would allow the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway! You can print, sign, and mail this letter to Representative Denver Riggleman – or write your own letter and mail it! For another sample letter, and for addresses of Virginia’s Senators and other Congressional representatives, see the Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s page, Help Us Preserve the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah!