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Special Places Endangered by Corridor H

Monongahela National Forest
Home of startlingly diverse native plants and animals. On high peaks of the Alleghenies, from 3,000 to nearly 5,000 feet, climate and plant life resemble Canada. Western slopes and lowlands are a temperate rainforest. "The Mon" lies within 250 miles of a third of U.S. population, to whom it offers a variety of recreation.
IMPACT: An overbuilt Corridor H would fragment the forest, cut off habitat for black bears and other animals, bring invasive roadside plants, pollute water sources, and degrade backcountry and wilderness recreation for people. NOTE: Beyond the Monongahela and George Washington National Forests, 1 million acres of forest land would be lost to Corridor H-induced development according to WV Division of Highways projections.

Photo: John Warner

Olson/Big Run Bog
Beautiful highland bog, National Natural Landmark and Research Area within the Monongahela National Forest, harbors rare botanical treasures such as pitcher plants.
IMPACT: Corridor H would fill in the headwaters of the bog.

Corricks Ford
In the narrow Shavers Fork Valley, in July 1861, the Union gained control of western Virginia, General McClellan advanced his career, and Confederate General Garnett lost his life. The battlefield's small farms and steep forest still look much the way they did then.
IMPACT: If Corridor H were built here as planned, on the slopes of Fork Mountain directly above the battlefield, stripmine-like scars, fill slopes and truck traffic would crowd the boundary and destroy the peace of this historic site. The four-lane could be seen and heard from Otter Creek Wilderness. This impact can be avoided by an alternative that improves existing U.S. 219 and adds a scenic overlook of the battlefield.

Blackwater Canyon
Spectacular canyon below Blackwater Falls State Park, partly within Monongahela National Forest. Campaign to save the privately owned south side of the canyon, now closed to the public and being logged, aims to prevent further damage and any development that would restrict the canyon's use to a few condominium owners.
IMPACT: Proposed Corridor H interchange location less than a mile from the canyon would increase development pressure. Nearby, acid runoff from old coal mines is a continuing problem, and road construction would expose new sources of that pollution.

Photo: John Warner

Moorefield Battle Site and Old Fields Historic District
One of West Virginia's earliest colonial settlements, surveyed by George Washington in the 1740s, Old Fields, north of Moorefield on the South Branch of the Potomac had previously been farmed for thousands of years by Native Americans. Antebellum log homes and brick mansions in long lots stretching from mountain to river are still seen along Route 220 and from the Potomac Eagle train. An August 1864 Union raid on this Confederate breadbasket had a "devastating effect" upon Gen. Jubal Early's cavalry going into the Shenandoah Valley campaign.
IMPACT: Overbuilt Corridor H would carve up the historic district and destroy its setting. Wal-Mart is already building on prime farmland just south of the district, and the Willow Wall mansion, site of the 1864 battle, was nearly sold to a trucking company. But, if Corridor H is not built here, the fields to the north will likely be kept as farmland. NOTE: WV Division of Highways calculated that more than 260,000 acres of farmland would be lost to Corridor H development, in a state where good farm land is hard to find.

Greenland Gap
Nature Conservancy Preserve and site of 1862 Civil War battle between Mulligan's Irish Brigade and Confederates under "Grumble" Jones. Breathtaking 800 foot gap in New Creek Mountain is a National Natural Landmark.
IMPACT: A Corridor H bridge and interchange less than 300 yards from the Gap would bring traffic, vibration, and noise, and intrude on the view from overlook trails.

Lost River Sinks and Hanging Rock
Lost River cut a deep gorge east of Baker, leaving hard Tuscarora Sandstone outcroppings such as Hanging Rock, which towers over the historic Baughman House at McCauley. Further east, Lost River "sinks" into an underground channel, reappearing near Wardensville as the Cacapon River. Route 55 has been named a scenic byway in Virginia, and should be here as well.
IMPACT: Huge Corridor H bridges are planned beside Hanging Rock and on top of Lost River Sinks. NOTE: The proposed overbuilt corridor's 100 stream crossings would damage our clear waters with sediment, runoff, and pollution.

Photo: Robb Mapou

Main Streets
Small historic towns with liveable, walkable streets are centers for government, shopping, industry, arts and community events. They also charm sprawl-weary tourists.
IMPACT: A new four-lane corridor would draw commerce away from downtown Elkins, Parsons, Thomas, Davis, Moorefield and Wardensville--and from towns 15- 30 miles away such as Romney and Petersburg. New interchanges benefit national chain stores rather than local businesses. NOTE: Sprawl costs us all! If encouraged by a new corridor, it can gobble land here the same way it has on the fringes of major cities.

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