(By Senator Craigo, Bowman, Ball, Walker, Kessler, White

Hunter, Macnaughtan, Snyder and Wooton)

Requesting the Division of Natural Resources to appoint a special task force to formulate a comprehensive plan for the acquisition of Blackwater Canyon.

Whereas, Blackwater Falls State Park, with its scenic beauty, attracts thousands of visitors to Tucker County, who spend over two million dollars annually; and
Whereas, Blackwater Canyon, one of the scenic jewels of West Virginia, is a magnet for tourism and visitors of Blackwater Falls State Park, attracting hunters, fishermen, hikers, bikers, boaters, picnickers, bird watchers, botanists, artists and sightseers; and
Whereas, The Division of Natural Resources has already spent taxpayer money to clean up the Blackwater River to create a trout fishery and has begun treatment of the North Fork of the Blackwater River that will create 10 miles of new trout stream in Blackwater Canyon; and
Whereas, A rail trail though the scenic Blackwater Canyon from Thomas to Hendricks will add approximately one million dollars to the local economy and form a critical link in a trail system extending from Washington, D.C., through Tucker County to Lewisburg and beyond; and
Whereas, The rail trail through the Canyon is designated as a link in the American Discovery Trail, which is the only continuous trail from the west coast to the east coast in America; and
Whereas, The Blackwater Canyon will present to the American Discovery Trail users from across America and around the world the very best of West Virginia's scenic and wild natural beauty; and
Whereas, The Blackwater Canyon is the home of many varieties of West Virginia's wildlife, including endangered species such as the northern flying squirrel and the Cheat Mountain salamander; and
Whereas, The preservation of the scenic beauty of Blackwater Canyon is vital to the interests of those who visit Blackwater Falls State Park, those who will utilize the American Discovery Trail, the economy of Tucker County and West Virginia's state parks system; and
Whereas, The acquisition of Blackwater Canyon by and for the citizens of West Virginia will preserve the scenic beauty of the Ccanyon, helping to keep Blackwater Falls State Park a popularan attraction wherefor which visitors are willing to spend their time and money; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate:
That the Senate hereby requests the Division of Natural Resources to appoint a special task force of interested parties and organizations, including appropriate federal agencies, to formulate a comprehensive plan as soon as possible for the acquisition of Blackwater Canyon for the public so that it will continue as one of West Virginia's most valuable recreational and scenic resources; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Director of the Division of Natural Resources, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Commerce and the Governor.