The Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club (ODATC) is an organization of individuals and trail-related organizations who meet to recreate in the outdoors in various ways as well as act as stewards of a portion of the Appalachian Trail and the public lands it runs through. Our recreational endeavors focus on hiking in Virginia but includes biking, paddling and touring as well. While the majority of our events occur in Virginia our only true limits are what members wish to limit themselves to.
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THE ODATC EXPERIENCE - CURRENT ISSUES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Pocahontas State Park Receives $30,000 for New Trail System
JULY 19, 2018 7:32AM
The Friends of Pocahontas State Park has been awarded a $20,000 grant from REI Richmondalong with a $10,000 grant from Dominion Energy. The combined $30,000 was given with the express intent of adding more hiking-specific trails to Pocahontas State Park’s already flourishing trail system.
Grant Smith, Store Manager from Richmond REI, presented a check to Friends member Jeff Samuels and Park Manager Joshua Ellington Thursday, July 5. Samuels, who has been with the Friends group since 2007 and is currently serving as the Director of Hiking Trails, explained the funding would go toward the construction of a new trail on the north shore of Swift Creek Lake.
Ellington has been park manager at Pocahontas State Parksince 2015 and is extremely grateful of the community support. Opening new trails is a labor intensive process, says Ellington, “We couldn’t do it without our volunteers, the friends group and corporate beneficiaries…Thank you for continuing to make Pocahontas State Park a better place for this whole community.”
Development for the new trail system is scheduled to begin in August. Completed sections of new trail will open to the public as early as September 2018.
Webmaster Note: We are so proud of Jeff who is an active member of Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club. Thanks, Jeff for all you do for Pocohantas and the AT.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy Submits Comments Regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline
The following is a recent message from Suzanne Dixon, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Yesterday ATC submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to an open public comment period regarding FERC’s 1999 Natural Gas Policy Statement – note, we added your club to the comments, making a powerful statement. Today, we distributed the attached release which provides strong commentary about Mountain Valley Pipeline and outlines the major points we have made to FERC. Most importantly, our release points out that 30 clubs representing nearly 6,000 volunteers stand behind the commentary that FERC must be more responsive in considering special places like the Appalachian Trail.
I have attached the final comments and the release here. We also have posted both on our recently updated webpage regarding MVP, which I encourage you to check out: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/mvp
Stop Order for MVP
Many of you may have heard that last week a federal judge issued a stay of the MVP permit in West Virginia, delaying the pipeline developer’s timeline for months, or longer. The news has been a bright spot for ATC staff, our clubs and our partners who have been on the front lines as this action endorses what we’ve been saying all along – MVP is a damaging and inappropriate project.
The MVP site is the reason we need to stay strong and work together
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to tour the area where the pipeline will be located. The tour – with several ATC staff, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, former RATC president and long-time pipeline opponent Diana Christopulos, a representative from FERC, and representatives from MVP and its contractors – was, quite frankly, sickening. The damage this project has made to the A.T. and to the communities around Roanoke is undeniable – and we’ve yet to see the worst part when the gashes become wider and the pipeline is installed. Already, dozens of huge earthmovers have torn down broad swaths of trees on the steep mountainsides and bright yellow do-not-cross police tape is evident, a leftover of the public protests that included people sitting in trees. On our tour, we ran into several A.T. hikers who seemed confused and dismayed. While I could go on about my impressions of that tour, I will stop and let you know that ATC is committed to doing whatever we can in monitoring, mitigating and, perhaps, seeing this bad project fully stopped.
Legislation that could address some of the issues we are facing
Please know that we are also working with congressional leaders on the Pipeline Fairness and Transparency Act, and collaborating and communicating with our partners and allies. While not much legislation is passing in Congress, ATC has not given up. We hope you will continue to stand strong with us. Again, thank you for your earnest and timely support of this initiative and all you do for the Trail.