SANDSTONE, W.Va. (WBOY) — The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is expanding.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced that Irish Mountain will be added to the preserve portion of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, adding 963 acres in the Raleigh/Summers County area near Sandstone.
According to a release from Capito, the new public land, which is along the southern part of the preserve, will be available for hunting and outdoor reaction.
“The familiar John Denver lyric, ‘Life is old there, older than the trees,’ is emblematic for the New River Gorge,” The Conservation Fund Vice President and West Virginia Director Joe Hankins said. “This is a place with ancient geology, a cultural history of immigration, hard work and community — and a river that flows through the very heart of West Virginia. The Conservation Fund is honored to help assure that a family land legacy will continue, now permanently conserved and newly made part of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.”
In January, the National Park Service announced that 45 acres near Beury Mountain were added to the preserve. Both additions were made possible through The Conservation Fund, who Capito thanked in her release.
“I am committed to continuing to enhance the New River Gorge experience for visitors and sportsmen, and I look forward to working alongside partners like The Conservation Fund to do so,” she said.
Capito also said that the addition will have a “positive economic impact on the region.”
For those who plan to use the newly designated preserve land, keep in mind that in addition to West Virginia’s hunting rules and regulations, baiting, trapping, permanent tree stands and ATVs are banned on New River Gorge National Park and Preserve land. There are also areas designated as no hunting zones; maps of those areas are available here.