Restoring Jamestown’s Historic Viewshed
Margaret Nelson Fowler, Williamsburg, Virginia
Margaret co-founded the Save the James Alliance to fight Dominion Energy’s transmission line. Since 2012, NPCA has considered her an ally in this campaign, and we’ve witnessed her use her network, resources, finances and time to protect the cultural and historic resources of this area.
Now a Regional Council member, Margaret can be counted on to take reporters on tours, provide photographs of impacts, write letters to the editor and speak at meetings. She was even a declarant in our lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers.
Colonial National Historical Park is where Pocahontas and the Powhatan Indians once lived, and where Captain John Smith and the Virginia Company Settlers landed in 1607 to create the first permanent English settlement in North America.
It’s where men, women and children endured brutal winters, starvation, disease and battles to lay the foundation of what would become our nation. For decades, advocates have protected this 50-mile stretch along the James River so that it looked much the same as it did centuries ago.
Unfortunately, rather than experiencing evocative river views, today’s visitors are confronted by 44 transmission towers, including some as tall as the Statue of Liberty. These towers are a product of one of the largest power companies in the country: Dominion Energy.
NPCA and our allies sued the Army Corps of Engineers in 2017 for granting a permit to allow this poorly sited development without fully assessing its environmental impact. Despite the ongoing litigation, Dominion proceeded to construct the towers. The company insisted it could take them down if the court ruled against them. And then — that’s just what happened.
A federal appeals court ruled in March 2019 that the permit authorizing tower construction was issued illegally — and NPCA maintains that the company should remove them. As this story unfolds, NPCA will remain vigilant in its fight to protect this place for all Americans.