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Kaine & Warner Reintroduce Bill to Protect George Washington National Forest’s Wilderness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner reintroduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, legislation that would add a total of 5,600 acres to two existing wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia. A wilderness designation is the highest level of protection for public land under federal law. These additions were recommended by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014 and endorsed by members of the GW National Forest Stakeholder Collaborative, a group of forest users that has worked together for seven years to agree on acceptable locations in the GW for wilderness, timber harvest, trails, and other uses.  

“These wilderness designations will preserve these beautiful wild areas of the George Washington National Forest in perpetuity,” the Senators said. “The good-faith work that went into this bill by local stakeholders shows that land-use decisions need not be adversarial and that we can provide for sustainable use of National Forest lands for many purposes while also preserving Virginia’s most treasured spaces. I’m thankful for all the local officials and conservationists who’ve worked together over the years to create this plan, and we’ll continue working to ensure this bill is signed into law.”  

The Senate passed Warner and Kaine’s bill in January 2020, but the legislation was not signed into law.