PEC chief comments on Walmart announcement
Chris Miller, president of the Piedmont Environmental Council, issued this statement on Walmart’s Orange County site announcement:
“It’s a win-win.
“Wal-Mart’s decision to pursue an alternative location for its superstore allows Orange County the economic benefit of the development while enabling the preservation of one of America’s most significant historic landscapes and a cornerstone of heritage tourism in the region.
“During the upcoming Sesquicentennial, the focus of the nation and the world will be on Civil War and that focus will include The Wilderness. Orange County can now serve as a model for economic development that respects and enhances preservation of historic resources.
“Historic resources are vitally important to the economic development of Orange County. In this case, Wilderness Battlefield is the County’s most visited tourist destination, and therefore an important economic generator in and of itself. But it is also the gateway to the rest of the County, the Piedmont region, and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, a unique collection of historic resources that give Orange County a competitive economic advantage.
“Orange County has an opportunity in the ongoing Gateway Study to develop a clear plan to protect the economic interests and historic sites along the Route 3 corridor. With participation from citizens, the county, the park service and other interested parties, the Study could be a national model for collaboration on economic development and preservation of historic resources.”