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New River Gorge National River Area To Become A National Park

Great news for those that enjoy National Parks, West Virginia's New River Gorge Region, or West Virginia tourism.  Included within the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed by President Trump last night (December 27th) is the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act.   The act will designate the existing New River National River and over 72,000 acres of land within it as a National Park and Preserve.

The New River Gorge Bridge will continue to be the centerpiece of the new New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. (Adam Prince, 2007)

The river and surrounding land, which was added to the National Park System in 1978, will be our 63rd National Park.   The designation preserves over 7,000 acres as a National Park.  This area will not allow any hunting.  The remaining 65,000 acres of the existing park will be designated as a preserve allowing hunting and fishing.

The main attractions to the New River Gorge - whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing - will continue and most likely flourish more with the new designation.  The authorization also allows the NPS to purchase an additional 100 acres of private land for the National Park and bid on another 4,000 acres to add to the Preserve.

The National Park and Preserve would be the fifth such kind in the National Park System.  The other four - including Denali National Park - are located in Alaska.

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