A lot has happened since we last spoke at the end of September. The DuPont company, the Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the US Fish and Wildlife reached a settlement on the DuPont mercury spill. DuPont agreed to pay $42 million to help clean up the South River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah in addition to paying for the renovation of the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, fish hatchery here in Front Royal.
The Virginia State Water Control Board approved the very controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will run for 600 miles and cut across the entirety of the Virginia Commonwealth. Just last week, the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission, traditionally no friend of conservationists, denied Dominion’s request to extend the deadline for tree felling until May 15, saying that it is too great a risk to both migratory bird species and threatened and endangered species and that Dominion must adhere to time-of-year tree felling restrictions.
We have a new governor in the mansion, Governor Ralph Northam, and a new Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, Matthew Strickler. We wish them both well and hope they follow through on the campaign promises they made to protect our land and rivers.
This year the Shenandoah Riverkeeper will be sponsoring another set of paddle trips called RiverPalooza. We will run a whitewater trip up in the Harpers Ferry area, a fishing trip on an undisclosed stretch of the South Fork that is almost certainly guaranteed to give you a chance to put yourself in the position to maybe catch a whopper. You get the idea! Join us and find out for yourself. We have a birding trip in June, and a snorkeling trip in July co-sponsored by our good friends at the U.S. Forest Service. Finally, we will be sponsoring an all day event in July helping to get our Latino friends out on the water and enjoying what the beautiful Shenandoah has to offer.
So stay tuned and give us a listen every Monday and Friday on 95.3, WZRV, and we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest river conditions. If you want to get out this week, give Don Roberts and his people at Front Royal Outdoors a call and they can help put you on the river and enjoy some of the cooler temps. Call them at (540) 635-5440 or log on to FrontRoyalCanoe.com.
To listen to the broadcast click here.