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West Virginia: Hunting is a Major Feature in Plan for New River Gorge National River

Friday, March 19, 2010

The National Park Service has released a general management plan (GMP) for the New River Gorge, a 70,000-acre park along the New River in south central West Virginia

The important aspect of this plan is that hunting will be permanently protected.  Although hunting had been a discretionary activity in the park, its future was not threatened until the Service began a planning process which ignited efforts by anti-hunters to close the park forever to hunting. 

In response to that threat an amendment was inserted into the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 which was signed into law a year ago.  It changed the discretionary "may" to the authorized "shall."  Therefore, all five of the management options addressed in the plan include this hunting mandate.  The plan can be viewed on line at http://parkplanning.nps.gov.  Select New River Gorge, West Virginia to bring up the plan. 

Public comments are being accepted until April 2nd and can be sent on line per the instructions given with the plan.  Although the National Park Service is now required to open the park to hunting, it is still important for hunters to review each of the alternatives as they address hunting and submit comments.   

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.