Court Ruling Stops ACP Timbering of “The Wilderness”

On March 1, 2018, Judge Norman Moon, of the US Western District of Virginia Federal Court in Lynchburg, granted ‘immediate access’ for tree-felling on 16 of 27 Virginia properties for which Dominion requested access. Acting on an appeal by Appalachian Mountain Advocates for one of the properties, “The Wilderness,” a 1,000-acre farm listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an order on March 13, 2018, preventing imminent tree cutting by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The “stay pending appeal” overruled Judge Moon’s March 1 decision, thus providing temporary relief from tree cutting until the court could fully consider the issue.

On March 20, Appalachian Mountain Advocates attorneys and the ACP’s attorneys presented oral arguments on the issue before the judicial panel.

On March 21, 2018, a unanimous judicial panel of the Fourth Circuit vacated the lower court’s injunction. The Fourth Circuit’s order will prevent tree cutting on the property until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fully completes the required state and federal historical review process. This review is necessary because “The Wilderness” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register, and been deemed by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to be a “Virginia Treasure.”

Read more on Appalachian Mountain Advocates Web page.