Please accept this letter as a public service announcement.
Motorists, please be aware of the road slip on US Rt. 219, north lane, near the top of Elk Mountain.
The slip occurred this past spring.
Currently, both modified lanes are open, but there is no berm and no guardrails.
Someone could drive off the mountain in foggy or bad road conditions.
I consider this situation Public Enemy #1 to our public safety and our economic welfare. This road is really our only industrial asset.
Our citizens and tourists travel this road every day – school buses, cars, trucks and emergency services. Our economy hinges on our guests coming and going, and trucks being able to transport products in and out of the county.
I am asking that every citizen take a moment to contact the West Virginia Commissioner of Highways and address your concerns about this.
Paul C. Mattox, Jr.
Commissioner of Highways
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 5, Room 110
Charleston, WV 25305
Some of the many local citizens supporting the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument initiative have formed the group Friends of the Monument (friendsofthemonument.org). We believe there is an excellent opportunity for President Obama to declare the Monument before the end of his administration.
In 2013, the Pocahontas County Commission received two letters from Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell, addressing concerns voiced about a National Monument in Pocahontas County.
The first letter, dated January 15, 2013, was addressed to Mr. David M. Fleming, President of the Pocahontas County Commission; the second letter is dated March 13, 2013 and addressed to Mr. Dolan Irvine, who was then president of the commission.
To the best of my knowledge, the commission has never publicly discussed these letters, allowing misinformation to flourish. These letters are posted on our website, friendsofthemonument.org
The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument will not change how Pocahontasans interact with the land. Hunting, fishing, foraging, hiking, biking, camping, driving the Highland Scenic Highway: these activities are made permanent by the Monument so that future generations of Pocahontasans can also enjoy these freedoms we now treasure. The Monument has no effect on user fees for the land, does not affect school funding, involves no private land, and will continue to be managed by the Forest Service.
The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument celebrates our Appalachian Heritage and makes permanent the attributes of the land that we all love.