Protect Shenandoah Mountain Fund
Generous donors contributed more than $50,000 in our Annual Fundraiser to help the Virginia Wilderness Committee (VWC) and the Friends of Shenandoah Mountain (FSM) protect and preserve four key wilderness areas in the proposed Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area of Virginia.
Although the Forest Service owns this land, private individuals and companies own the underground mineral rights and can develop and extract those minerals. As long as there is the possibility of development and mining, the Forest Service will not protect these lands by designating them as a National Scenic Area or Wilderness Area.
We hope to help VWC and FSM with our financial assistance to acquire mineral rights from the current owners and transfer those rights to the Forest Service. They have already had success in acquiring mineral rights in these areas and need our help to continue identifying mineral rights ownership and to purchase the rights for four tracts that have been identified.
According to the Committee, National Scenic Area designation will protect the area from logging, road-building, hydrofracking, industrial wind development, and other activities that would mar the natural character and degrade the recreational opportunities of the area. Wilderness designation of the most remote, wild land within the area offers the strongest protection.
Learn more about the Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area and the work of the Virginia Wilderness Committee. The wilderness areas proposed for protection include:
- Skidmore Fork Wilderness - 5,228 acres in Rockingham County
- Little River Wilderness - 12,490 acres in Augusta County
- Lynn Hollow Wilderness - 6,168 acres in Highland County
- Bald Ridge Addition to Ramseys Draft Wilderness - 6,550 acres in Augusta County