National Parks Group Recognized for Outstanding Conservation Efforts at New River Gorge

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   July 30, 2008
Contact:   Erin St. John, Mid-Atlantic Field Representative, National Parks Conservation Association, 304.250.7833
Chris Arvidson, Assistant Director, National Committee for the New River, 336.982.6267


National Parks Group Recognized for Outstanding Conservation Efforts at New River Gorge

(Jefferson, NC)– More than one hundred supporters of the National Committee for the New River (NCNR) gathered on Saturday, July 26, to present their annual Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Awards. The awards honor the spirit, dedication, and perseverance that former Winston-Salem Journal publisher and editor Wallace Carroll, and his wife Peggy, brought to the battle to save the New River from a massive dam project in the 1970s. The Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Awards recognize the efforts of individuals and citizen groups whose outstanding dedication and work protects and preserves the New River.

In West Virginia, NCNR recognized Eric Autenreith as a Wallace and Peggy Carroll Volunteer of the Year. Eric serves as the Secretary of the Board of the Plateau Action Network and is a one-man New River advocate and expert. He works tirelessly holding local government accountable for important river-related issues and serves as an important source of information for policy makers, office holders and land stakeholders in the New River watershed.

Also in West Virginia, the Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Award Advocacy Group of the Year recognized the National Parks Conservation Association. Erin Haddix-St. John accepted the award on behalf of NPCA. She coordinates a quarterly roundtable discussion with New River Gorge stakeholders, serves as a spokesperson for conservation easements, and promotes alternatives to subdivision and development in the New River Gorge National River and surrounding area.

NCNR selected WV Congressman Nick Rahall as Legislator of the Year. Santucci noted, "Congressman Rahall had the vision, more than thirty years ago, to spearhead the creation of the New River Gorge National River. As chairman of the House’s Committee on Natural Resources and WV’s Third District representative, he continues to work for issues vital to the future health of the New River."

In Virginia, the Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Awards recognized the Concerned Citizens of Giles County, represented by Britt and Leigh Stoudenmire, as Volunteers of the Year. In Pearisburg, Leigh and Britt are owner-operators of Canoe the New Outfitters, and over the past year they have been researching, monitoring, and speaking out against the disposal of CCBs, known as Fly Ash, on the banks of the New River. They spearheaded a public nuisance suit and continue to watchdog this ironically labeled "beneficial use" dumping in Giles County.

Also from Virginia, NCNR presented the signature Wallace and Peggy Carroll Lifetime Achievement Award to a founder and tireless representative, Ed Adams, of Sparta. Since the 1970s, Adams has been a constant with the organization, serving as a key leader during the dam controversy and one of NCNR’s founders. He has continued to work on behalf of NCNR and was appreciated on Saturday as a "True example of the Lifetime Achievement award," according to George Santucci, Executive Director of NCNR. "Ed continues to serve as a legal advisor, financial supporter, and a trusted and treasured mentor to countless others, including me," said Santucci. "We wouldn’t be here celebrating today without him."

From North Carolina, NCNR recognized Volunteer of the Year Kim Hadley, who has been volunteering her time and considerable talents for NCNR for many years. Hadley created the NCNR website, designs the organization’s newsletter, and is largely responsible for the public face of the organization.

NC State Senator Steve Goss received the Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Award Legislator of the Year award, recognizing in particular his work to help NCNR, the High Country Conservancy and the Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust protect Pond Mountain in Ashe County, North Carolina. NCNR envisions a permanently protected New River as a treasured natural resource. The mission of NCNR is to advocate for successful protection of the New River, to restore eroding river and stream banks and enhance riparian habitat, and to permanently protect land along the River. NCNR works in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia’s New River watershed. The organization has protected nearly 5,000 acres of land important to the River’s water quality, scenic and natural values, and has restored over 66 miles of river and stream bank.

For more information, visit: http://www.ncnr.org/.

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