FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A public meeting is scheduled on a bill to redesignate the New River Gorge National River in West Virginia as the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
The Wednesday morning meeting at the Canyon Rim Visitors Center Auditorium will be hosted by U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. Rep. Carol Miller. Manchin and Capito introduced the bill.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the redesignation was sought because rebranding as a national park increases visitation without raising costs. It says visitation increases due to the assumption that national parks provide high-quality recreation experiences. The bill would redesignate up to 6,000 acres of the federal land’s 72,808 acres as a national park competent, where hunting wouldn’t be allowed. Hunting would still be allowed in the national preserve component.