Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Development threatens Harpers Ferry, C+O Canal

WTOP reports:

Land development threatens nearby national parks you may visit, including Harpers Ferry, Shenandoah National Park, Assateague, the C&O Canal and Appomattox Court House. …

“If you look west toward Charles Town, West Virginia, you’ve got one of the fastest-growing non-suburban communities in the United States,” says Ron Tipton, senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association. “And the park is constantly waging a fight to preserve everything that it can in those ridges around the little town itself.”

Although some big federal agencies have considered moving to Harpers Ferry, the town remains relatively undeveloped. Many local residents would welcome the increased income development promises, but thousands of annual visitors and history lovers hope to preserve the town as it is.

The C&O Canal also is “a little ribbon in a sea of development.” Not too wide but 180 miles long, it is the “Chile” of the National Parks System. …

Overall, a decade-long study finds 91 percent of the nation’s national parks are in “fair” or “poor” condition. “The State of America’s National Parks” report was conducted in preparation for the Centennial Anniversary of The National Parks System in 2016. …

And yet, “there’s a tremendous constituency for the national parks,” Tipton says.