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JRPA Urges Upgrades At Lake Moomaw

Covington, VA (May 5, 2021) - It was recently announced by Bill Wilson, President of the Jackson River Preservation Association, Inc. (JRPA), that his organization was throwing its weight behind the efforts of JRPA member, Bill Uzzell, who is trying to persuade the U.S. Forest Service to repair and improve facilities at Lake Moomaw, which have fallen into disrepair.

According to Wilson and Uzzell, the docks and buoys are dilapidated and are causing conditions that are dangerous to those who fish and recreate at Lake Moomaw. Many of the buoys are missing or out of place and the docking facilities are in bad condition creating other hazards.

Mr. Uzzell said, “I have written to the USFS and met with the new Ranger, Teresa Tanner. Ms. Tanner tells me that the USFS has discharged the most recent concessionaire, who was responsible for managing the recreational facilities at the Lake, because they were not doing their job correctly. In addition, Ms. Tanner told me, the USFS had insufficient funding with which to address the current state of disrepair to the lake’s infrastructure. In July of last year, I was told that the buoys would be replaced, and dock repairs made in the fall of 2020. That was not done. Last January I was told that the work would be done this spring. That also did not happen. The latest word, as of her statement to the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors during the April session, is that the repairs will be completed this Summer. I am not optimistic but truly hope that occurs.”

Wilson said that he was aware that the lake was in need of recreational repairs, but he did not realize, until he met with Bill Uzzell, and toured the lake this past Sunday just how bad things were. Wilson said that when he and Uzzell met, they came up with a “plan” to assist the USFS to get things moving in the right direction. The plan is as follows:

     •     Schedule a meeting with Ranger Teresa Tanner to be sure we have a clear understanding of the USFS position and the nature of the problems.

     •     Ask Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds, who lives in Bath County, for help reaching out to U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for their support in efforts to obtain funding for Lake Moomaw repairs through the Great American Outdoors Act.

     •     Continue to follow-up with Congressman Morgan Griffith asking for his assistance. Correspondence was sent by Mr. Uzzell to Mr. Griffith on January 27, 2021 informing him (and additional contacts via copy) of the lake’s state of disrepair but he had not received a reply.

     •     Request help from Alleghany, Bath and Highland counties in the overall effort to obtain funding from federal sources.

Wilson added, “Lake Moomaw is the Crown Jewel of the Alleghany Highlands. People come from all over to enjoy recreation at this beautiful lake. The positive economic impact is very important for the entire Highlands area. We cannot allow the lake to stand in this state of disrepair. All of the governing bodies and the Chamber of Commerce need to join hands to correct the current situation. The JRPA intends to do all it can to help find a remedy.”

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