2007 FAC Meeting Notes

Please scroll down to find the Meeting Notes for 2007:
  • September 20, 2007
  • July 19, 2007
  • May 17, 2007
  • March 15, 2007
  • January 18, 2007
 
September 20, 2007
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
September 20, 2007
Warren County Government Center
Front Royal, Virginia

Agenda
I) General Introduction
II) Election of Commission Chair and Vice Chair
III) Review and Approval of Minutes of July 19, 2007, meeting
IV) GMP status update
V) Comments or questions on the zone prescription handout
VI) Old Business
VII) New Business
VIII) Next Meeting Strasburg Town Hall, December 13, 2007

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser, chair; Patrick Farris; Randy Jones; Howard Kittell; Elizabeth McClung; Dan Stickley; and Kris Tierney.

Commission members absent: Gene Dicks, Roy Downey, Gary Rinkerman, Jim Smalls.

Others in attendance: Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Robert King, Northern Virginia Daily; Sarah Mauck, Strasburg; Pam Sheets, Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation; Chris Stubbs, NPS; Val Van Meter, Frederick County Equine Network; Hillary Watson, Warren Sentinel

Chair Mary Bowser opened the meeting and asked members to report on any activities in the upcoming months:
• Belle Grove will be heavily involved with the Battle of Cedar Creek reenactment in October
• Warren County will host the Festival of Leaves in mid-October
• The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation will sponsor a seminar on the 1864
campaign at the Godfrey Miller House, release a publication on Sheridan, and on
November 8 hold its annual meeting at the Hall of Valor
• Strasburg will hold its October Fest/Sunday in the Park October 7

Mary Bowser announced that the first order of business was to elect a new chair. Having served two full terms the bylaws require that a new chair be selected. Commission members decided not to have a separate election for vice-chair, but to have the person with the second highest number of votes serve in that position. Ballots were distributed,
marked, collected, and counted. Kris Tierney is the new chair, and Randy Jones is the
new vice-chair.
Chair Kris Tierney conducted the remainder of the meeting.

The notes from the July 19, 2007, meeting were reviewed and approved.

Chris Stubbs reported that the draft General Management Plan (GMP) is on schedule for being submitted to the NPS Washington Office by the end of the fiscal year, September
30. Once officials in Washington approve the draft it will be sent to the printer to prepare it
for public distribution. The formal public comment period will commence once the draft is an
official public document. Chris and Diann Jacox have been meeting with the park’s congressional delegation on the alternatives and have been keeping them informed of the progress and schedule.

Commission members talked about how to respond to the document. Should they respond individually, as a group, should the comments reflect a consensus of members, were among the issues raised. There was consensus that a subcommittee of commission members would be created to review the document and make a presentation to the full commission. Chris Stubbs reminded the members that now that the GMP was out of the park’s hands and in the Washington Office, he could not predict the start or finish of the review.

Stubbs also reported that he has been meeting with officials in Strasburg as they redo their own comprehensive plan.

Commission members expressed satisfaction with the zone prescriptions, saying specifically that the details provided by the National Park Service helped to clarify many questions and allay concerns that they or others might have.

New Business
Diann Jacox introduced a new topic for commission members to consider as she spoke about why she had included Dwight Pitcaithley’s essay on the NPS and its approaching Centennial in the package for this meeting.

Diann began by saying that the commission had worked long and hard on the GMP, and sending it to the Washington Office represented a milestone in achievement as well as an opportunity to move in new directions. NPS Director Mary Bomar is talking with the Congress on funding opportunities for the agency across the ten years surrounding the Centennial, and she is working with park superintendents about projects that they need for their individual parks. Most likely any funding that parks receive will require matching partnership dollars. Diann stressed how this could be a potential problem for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP since we do not currently have a source for matching funds. The key partners already have connections to local sources for giving and the NPS does not wish to compete for those same dollars.


Over the next few meetings Diann is planning to invite different speakers to talk about the NPS, its future, funding opportunities, and be able to answer questions that the Commission has as it heads into this new future. Diann concluded that much work remains in securing approval for the GMP, but that commission members need to be thinking about the future. She stressed that the unknowns are great in the Centennial program. Nothing will be certain until the Congress has acted. Once the GMP is completed, the Commission will need to address a new set of issues.

Next Meeting will be December 13 in the Strasburg Town Hall.

Chair Kris Tierney adjourned the meeting at 10:30 a.m.

Handouts provided at the September 20, 2007, meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Meeting Notes from the July 19, 2007, meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Zones prescriptions document
5. Dwight Pitcaithley essay, On the Brink of Greatness, National Parks and the Nest Century




 
July 19, 2007
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
July 19, 2007
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia

Agenda
I) General Introduction
II) Review and Approval of meeting notes from May 18, 2007
III) GMP Status Update
IV) Presentation on Battlefield Archeology, Kristen McMasters, American Battlefield Protection Program
V) Presentation on Sensitive Natural Resources, Chris Stubbs, NPS
VI) Facilitated Discussion on GMP Zones, Chris Stubbs, NPS
VII) Old Business
VIII) New Business
IX) Nest Annual Cycle of Meetings: decision on frequency, time, and location
X) Election of Commission Chair to be held at next meeting
XI) Next Meeting—September 20, 2007, Warren County Government Center

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser, chair; Gene Dicks; Howard Kittell; Elizabeth McClung; Gary Rinkerman; Jim Smalls; Dan Stickley; and Kris Tierney.

Commission members absent: Roy Downey, Patrick Farris, Randy Jones.

Others in attendance: Suzanne Chilson, Executive Director, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Butch Fravel, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Wendy Hamilton, Preserve Frederick; Drew Houff, Winchester Star; Kristen McMasters, NPS; Sarah Mauck, Strasburg; Linwood Outlaw III, Northern Virginia Daily; Steve Shipe; Chris Stubbs, NPS.

Chair Mary Bowser conducted the meeting.

The notes from the May 18, 2007, meeting were reviewed and approved.

Chris Stubbs reported he was been working with the core planning team and with consultants to produce the General Management Plan draft. Since the last Advisory Commission meeting he and Diann Jacox have met with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation board on June 7, 2007, and had two meetings with the Key Partners on June 13 and July 9, 2007.


Diann Jacox introduced Kristen McMasters of the American Battlefield Protection Program, an external arm of the National Park Service. Ms. McMasters spoke for approximately 30 minutes and detailed how the Program helps federal, state, and local government identify, inventory, and protect battlefields within the United States. She spoke at length about battlefield archeology and protection.

Chris Stubbs began a report on sensitive natural resources with a quick overview of the park and the GMP process. He detailed the number of meetings that the NPS has had with local governments, the Advisory Commission, and the Key Partners. He also presented the amount of federal funds that the Key Partners have received over the years from the National Park Service for land acquisition: Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation--$398,000; National Trust for Historic Preservation--$250,000; and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation--$1,000,000.

The presentation on sensitive resources moved seamlessly into the discussion of the Management Zones. Chris Stubbs reminded everyone that the zones are a park planning tool; they provide direction and vision for how lands owned or purchased by the NPS or the Key Partners should be managed. The six zones were developed in January 2007 and have been refined with input from the Commission and the Key Partners since that time. Stubbs passed out two letters from state officials detailing what their inventory of lands within the park boundary have shown. Shenandoah University has found stretches of Central Appalachian shale barrens on the lands owned by Shenandoah County and is working with both the County and the National Park Service to protect these areas.

Most of the discussion centered on the Bayliss Tract owned by the Cedar Creek Battlefield
Foundation. This piece of land contains 0.7 mile of Civil War earthworks, interpretive signage, and fairly rare forest types as studied by both Shenandoah University and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation expressed concern that the sensitive resource zone may somehow hinder future use of the land for conducting battle reenactments and other similar activities.

The question was asked if a term other than “zone” could be used. This term can sometimes be misunderstood, attracting negative feelings with some property rights advocates. The term “zone”, however, is a concept that the National Park Service uses throughout the system. It is important to ensure that users understand the description and definition of the term and the zone prescriptions.

Commission members briefly talked about the Large Events Zone. By having such a zone is the park opening itself to a situation where any event could be hosted whether or not it is in keeping with the park purposes and interpretive themes? Again, the discussion returned to the need for detailed zone prescriptions to help guide appropriate events, management, and activities.

New Business
Belle Grove w ll be celebrating its Fortieth Anniversary as a National Trust site August 13, 2007.

A new cycle of meetings begins September 1, 2007, the third year of the Advisory Commission’s existence. Commission members voted to meet four times over the next annual meeting cycle rather than every other month. This next year’s meetings will be:
September 20—Front Royal December 13—Strasburg March 20—Middletown June 19—Front Royal Mary Bowser is not eligible to continue as Commission chair. Nominations for a new chair should be sent to Chris Stubbs via email or telephone by August 15.

The next meeting will be September 20, 2007 in the Warren County Government Center.

Chair Mary Bowser adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m.

Handouts provided at the July 19, 2007, meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from the May 18, 2007, meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Letter from Amy Martin, Nongame and Environmental Programs, Virginia Department of Game and
Inland Fisheries
5. Letter from René Hypes, Project Review Coordinator, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation


 
May 17, 2007
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
May 17, 2007
Strasburg Town Hall
Strasburg, Virginia
Agenda
I) General Introduction
II) Review and Approval of Minutes of March 15, 2007
III) GMP Status Update
IV) Facilitated Discussion on GMP Alternatives and Zones
V) Old Business
VI) New Business
VII) Next Meeting—July 19, 2007, Middletown Town Hall

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser, chair; Gene Dicks; Patrick Farris; Randy Jones; Howard Kittell; Elizabeth McClung; Gary Rinkerman; Dan Stickley; and Kris Tierney.
Commission members absent: Roy Downey and Jim Smalls.
Others in attendance; Suzanne Chilson, Executive Director, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Dawn Goodwin, NPS; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer: Drew Houff, Winchester Star; Sarah Mauck, Strasburg; Tom Price, Shenandoah County; Sue Renaud, NPS; Chris Stubbs, NPS.
Chair Mary Bowser conducted the meeting.
The notes from the March 15, 2007, meeting were reviewed and approved with minor editorial corrections.
Chris Stubbs gave the GMP status update. He noted that the alternatives newsletter has been out for public review since late March, and that the Denver Service Center has also been working on the environmental impact statement. He also noted a number of meetings have been held to present the GMP alternatives.
Diann Jacox reported that she and Chris had spoken before the monthly meeting of the Shenandoah Valley African American Association. Members come from Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and represent people who have lived in the Valley for generations as well as people new to the area. Their questions and comments after the presentations gave both Diann and Chris new perspectives to ponder and offer the NPS an opportunity to connect to a community that is sometimes overlooked.

Zones
Suzanne Chilson, Executive Director of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, passed out a letter from the Foundation expressing its concern about including the Panther Cave property and areas along Meadow Brook within the GMP natural resource zone. Suzanne said that the Foundation’s board of directors does not believe that the designation, as proposed, would be in the best interests of
the public or of the reenactments conducted by the Foundation.

Following a brief discussion of the natural resource zone, Diann Jacox suggested that a separate meeting should be devoted to a discussion of the GMP zones. It was agreed that at the July 19, 2007, meeting the commission would have an opportunity to revisit the larger question of zones, and specifically the natural resource zone on the Bayliss tract and other areas throughout the park.
Meanwhile, on June 7, 2007, Diann and Chris will make a presentation to the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation board on the management alternatives, the concept of management zones, and the state-designated Panther Conservation Area on the Bayliss Tract.

Discussion of the Alternatives
Dawn Goodwin, from the National Park Service Washington Office, facilitated the discussion.

The bulk of the meeting was devoted to discussing the four alternatives. Chris Stubbs gave a brief PowerPoint summary of the elements of each alternative.

Though the discussion was wide-ranging, the comments reflected the commissioners’ own series of discussions with their boards, community members, and interested parties. The conversation became an elaboration of the themes that derived directly from the alternatives and that clearly were manifestations of the visions that all commissioners have come to have for the park over the course
of their service on the board. The broad topics were:
• Park Management Elements
• Access
• Interpretation
• Land Protection
• Cooperative Relationships

Park Management Elements
• Several of the commissioners thought that the public expected the National Park Service to operate a visitor center at the park and believed that such a facility was essential to the success of the park. It was also thought that given the partnership nature of the park, a visitor center would provide a central identity and focus for the visiting public.

• The was consensus that establishing a partnership park showed great wisdom, but the visiting public was not interested in a series of separate entities, but in one park functioning as an integrated, seamless whole.
• Some commissioners thought that initially much of the public wanted to see the National Park Service have a small presence at the park, but largely because of the collaborative manner in which the park has engaged the public in the planning process, they believed that the public was open to the NPS assuming a larger role.
• It was stated that a National Park Service visitor center would draw people and give credibility to the efforts of those who have labored for years to preserve these properties. The NPS brings both national and international recognition to the area. Someone mentioned their recent visit to the new Jamestown visitor center and said that it effectively tells the story of the English settlement, while making clear the role that various partners play in preserving that site.
• The commissioners said that a central visitor center would give the park identity and visibility. “People see that arrowhead and know what it means” was a sentiment that the commissioners expressed.

Access
• There was discussion among the commissioners that a visitor center was also needed to educate the public about the areas within the park that were open to public access and those areas that were not. Much of the park remains in private ownership, and may remain so for some time to come.
It is extremely important that the public not trespass on private property.
• In addition to physical access, intellectual access to the stories of the Shenandoah Valley was also discussed. As visitors move throughout the park, they will be able to connect to resources reflecting different stories and different time periods. The park can also serve as a public repository of research that is conducted at or about the park.

Interpretation
• There was a discussion of interpretation at the park – and it was said that it should be accurate, consistent and coordinated among the partners – and that the National Park Service should coordinate interpretation among the partners. While the interpretive themes have already been identified through the foundation plan, there should be an objective process for those themes to be modified and adapted over time.
• It was expressed that interpretive information given out throughout the park should be consistent among the partners regardless of the media or method chosen to disseminate the information.

Land Protection
• The commissioners thought that the National Park Service should consider land acquisition and ownership. They thought there should be an overall coordinated strategy among both public and private partners with the goal of protecting land both within and outside the park boundary. The issue of providing connectivity between the various partner-owned parcels throughout the park was
discussed.Connectivity should also be part of the coordinated land acquisition strategy. Local governments could support land protection through their comprehensive planning and local government zoning processes. The goal here should be to look at the character of the land, its history, and continued public access so that decisions can be made about priorities for land protection.

Cooperative Relationships
• The National Park Service should have the lead responsibility for promoting collaborative and cooperative approaches to managing the park. There should be a thematic cohesiveness among the various sites at the park, and the park should have a larger interpretive umbrella that covers all the stories and themes of the park. The success of the park lies in the ability of the partners to cooperatively work together in managing the park. It is also important that the park and local
governments work cooperatively on park issues. The funding challenges currently within the National Park Service were also discussed.

Items Requiring More Discussion
• The NPS role in operations
• Park Zones

The next meeting will be July 19, 2007, in the Middletown Town Hall.

Chris Stubbs reminded everyone that the annual meeting cycle ends in July, and that the commissioners will need to consider how often they want to meet in the upcoming year.

Chair Mary Bowser adjourned the meeting at 12:05 p.m.

Handouts Provided at the Meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from the March 15, 2007 meeting
3. GMP status update

 
March 15, 2007

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
March 15, 2007
Warren Country Government Center
Front Royal, Virginia

Agenda
I) General Introduction
II) Introduction of Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer
III) Review and Approval of Minutes from January 18, 2007 (5 minutes)
IV) De-brief on park landowners Forum, January 22, 2007 (10 minutes)
V) GMP status update (5 minutes)
VI) Change to Alternative B—addition of B1 and B2 (20 minutes)
VII) Zone discussion follow-up (30 minutes)
VIII) Alternatives newsletter—out to public in March; Advisory Commission to discuss in May (10 minutes)
IX) Final Scoping Report (30 minutes)
X) Old Business
XI) New Business
XII) Next Meeting—May 17, 2007, Strasburg Town Hall


Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser, chair: Patrick Farris; Randy Jones; Howard Kittell; Elizabeth McClung; Gary Rinkerman; Jim Smalls; and Dan Stickley.

Commission members absent: Gene Dicks, Roy Downey, Kris Tierney.

Others in attendance; Bob Grogg, NPS: Robert King, Winchester Star; Sarah Mauck, Strasburg; Chris Stubbs, NPS.

Chair Mary Bowser conducted the meeting.

The notes from the January 18, 2007, meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

Commission members spoke about the response at the park landowners’ forum, January 25, 2007. The people attending the meeting were eager to talk and often sidetracked discussion to development outside the park. Nevertheless the commissioners found the landowners engaged in the process and interested in getting information. The private discussions that followed during the social hour were especially important: people were able to talk to the commissioners directly, get answers, and relay their concerns.Everyone stressed the important of these one-on-one conversations.

Chris Stubbs of the National Park Service reported on the status of the general management plan. In January the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP staff presented the GMP alternative to the NPS Northeast Region’s acting Director and to the NPS Washington Office. Approval to proceed, with modifications, was granted. The park staff will be meeting with relevant Virginia state officials in the coming week.

In response to comments received from the NPS Washington Planning Office, the park presented the commissioners with two options for Alternative B—Option B1 containing no visitor center and Option B2 containing a visitor center. They explained that the acting director for planning, who was subsequently appointed Deputy Director of the National Park Service, recommended that at least one of the action alternatives within the plan illustrate how the park would operate without a visitor center. He recommended that the alternative be a good faith effort to think through in detail how the national park would operate without a visitor center. In the subsequent discussion among the commissioners, it was agreed that Option B1 would be a more forthright and direct approach and provide the framework for the good faith effort recommended by the NPS acting planning director. The commissioners voted to recommend that the National Park Service drop option B2, and that option B1 become Alternative B.

Chris Stubbs reviewed the Draft Zone Prescriptions (March 6, 2007) for the commissioners,
explaining how these decisions on land use would aid future park management. A suggestion was made that additional maps be created showing conservation easements within the park. They reasoned that such a map would be useful in showing property owners other protected land, thereby encouraging the owners to provide the same protection. Some people expressed the need for county lines on the maps, believing that such a device would help local populations invest themselves with a sense of being a part of the park.

Chris Stubbs reported that the Alternatives Newsletter has been printed and will shortly be
delivered to park headquarters. It will be mailed out to about 450 people. He urged the
commissioners to work with their boards to get comments on the alternatives so that at the May meeting concrete decisions can be made. The May discussion will be crucial to meeting the September 2007 release date.

Chris Stubbs presented the GMP scoping report (December 14, 2006) that is a compilation of
everything that the NPS and the Commission have heard from public meetings and discussions with local authorities through late 2006.

Diann Jacox reported that she is waiting to hear on the DOI confirmation of the appointments of Sarah Mauck and Tom Price to be commission members.

Jim Smalls reported a U.S. Forest Service planning meeting will take place the third week in April in Woodstock. Inquiries may be directed to the Lee Ranger District, 540-984-4101.

Chair Mary Bowser adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m.

Elizabeth McClung requested that everyone stay for a group picture for her newsletter.

Handouts provided at the March 15, 2007 meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from the January 18, 2007, meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Alternative B modifications
5. Draft Zone Prescriptions
6. GMP final scoping report




 
January 18, 2007
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
January 18, 2007
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia

Agenda
I) General Introductions
II) Review and Approval of Minutes from 16 November 2006 (10 minutes)
III) Park landowners forum to be held 22 January 2007 (15 minutes)
IV) GMP Status Update (10 minutes)
V) GMP alternatives and Park zoning; presentation and group discussion
VI) Old Business
VII) New Business
VIII) Next Meeting – 15 March 2007 in Front Royal at the Warren County Govt. Center

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Mary Bowser, Chairperson; Elizabeth McClung; Howard Kittell; Gene Dicks; Jim Smalls; Fred Andreae; Dan Stickley; Kris Tierney; Gary Rinkerman; Patrick Farris

Commission members absent: Randolph Jones; Roy Downey

Others in attendance: Chris Stubbs, NPS; Tom Price, Shenandoah County; Sarah Mauck, Town of Strasburg; Becky Krystal, Northern Virginia Daily; Randy Orndorff

Chairperson Mary Bowser chaired the meeting.

The notes from the 16 November 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

There was a discussion of the upcoming Park Landowner’s Forum, to be held on Jan. 22, with a snow date of Jan. 25, at Lord Fairfax Community College. The purpose of the forum is to educate private landowners within the park about conservation tools. Commissioners Diann Jacox, Howard Kittell, and Elizabeth McClung briefed the rest of the group on the background and importance of this meeting. All Commissioners were invited to attend and participate.

Chris Stubbs of the National Park Service provided a general management plan status update to the Commission, the details of which were handed out to the Commissioners and the public. A central point of the presentation was that the National Park Service intends to
send out a public newsletter that outlines the draft GMP alternatives.

There was a presentation and facilitated discussion from Mr. Stubbs on the draft GMP alternatives and proposed park zones. A hard copy of the latest version of the draft alternatives was provided to the Commissioners. A summary of the discussion that occurred during the presentation is appended to these commission notes.

There was no new or old business discussed.

The next meeting will be on 15 March 2007 in Front Royal at the Warren County Govt. Center.

With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Bowser.

After the meeting adjourned, Commissioner Jim Smalls, District Ranger for the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest, provided the group with a brief presentation on the current National Forest planning process. The current George Washington National Forest plan is being revised, and the public is invited to be involved in the process. There will be a public meeting on the Forest Plan on March 7 from 7:00- 10:00 p.m. in Woodstock, VA. Inquiries may be directed to the Lee Ranger District at (540) 984-4101.

List of handouts provided at 18 January 2007 meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from 16 November 2006 Commission meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Draft Alternatives paper, dated January 18, 2007


Appendix I – Discussion of Draft GMP Alternatives (18 January 2007 Version) and Proposed Park Zones

• Specific wording changes to the draft alternatives were proposed by the Commissioners. This input was noted and changes have been made to the document.
• There was a lengthy discussion of private landowner rights. The consensus was that every effort must be made to ensure private landowners that their rights will not be altered, changed, or decreased as a result of the GMP alternatives or the proposed park zones.
• As stated before, the GMP must have a definitions section, and the definition of “Park” must be clearly spelled out.
• The alternatives must say that the existing contact facilities will remain open.
• There was a discussion of horse trails and a general consensus that the Park is not big enough to have the infrastructure needed to accommodate equestrian facilities. The Commissioners agreed that the alternatives should not call for a horse trail system.
• The alternatives must state that any land acquisition would be done with willing sellers only.
• The alternatives should state that in those cases where visitor interpretation would occur on
private land, the landowner must be a willing participant in the program.
• There was a discussion of whether the trail that follows the course of the battle in
Alternatives C and D should be mentioned specifically. It was stated by Mr. Stubbs that many
people asked for such a trail during public scoping. The question was also raised about whether
other trails should be mentioned specifically by name in the alternatives.
• Regarding the park zones, it was recommended that we use the term “zone” and “park zones”, and
not use the term “zoning”. “Zoning” implies regulatory action and the public may misconstrue this
word.
• Some questions were raised about the proposed zones:
o Should Harmony Hall be added to the visitor services zone?
o Should the Keister Tract be added to the large events zone to accommodate county
festivals?
o Should we provide a definition of “visitor contact facility” and “visitor center”? Is there a
difference between the two?





 

2006 FAC Meeting Notes

Please scroll down to find the Meeting Notes for 2006:
  • November 16, 2006
  • September 21, 2006
  • May 18, 2006
  • March 16, 2006


November 16, 2006
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
November 16, 2006
Strasburg Town Hall
Strasburg, Virginia
Agenda
I) General Introductions
II) Review and Approval of Minutes from 21 September 2006 (10 minutes)
III) Election of Commission Vice-Chair (10 minutes)
IV) GMP Status Update (10 minutes)
V) GMP alternative concepts; presentation and group discussion
VI) Old Business
• Bylaws
VII) New Business
• Park landowners forum to be held 22 January 2007
VIII) Next Meeting – 18 January 2007 in Middletown
Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Mary Bowser, Chairperson; Elizabeth McClung; Howard Kittell; Gene Dicks; Jim Smalls; Randolph Jones; Fred Andreae; Dan Stickley; Kris Tierney
Commission members absent: Roy Downey; Gary Rinkerman; Richard Kleese; Patrick Farris

Others in attendance: Chris Stubbs, NPS; David Piper; Sandra Piper; Elizabeth Wilkerson, Northern VA Daily; Sarah Mauck, Town of Strasburg; Suzanne Chilson, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Sarah Reid, Winchester Star
Chairperson Mary Bowser chaired the meeting.
The notes from the 21 September 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved as written.
Mr. Chris Stubbs of the National Park Service provided a general management plan status update to the Commission, the details of which were handed out to the Commissioners and the public.
There was a brief discussion led by Diann Jacox regarding the status of the expired Commission appointments.
There was a presentation and facilitated discussion from Mr. Stubbs on the draft GMP conceptual alternatives. A hard copy of the draft conceptual alternatives was provided to the Commissioners. A summary of the discussion that occurred during the presentation are appended to these commission notes.

The vote for the Commission Vice-Chairperson for the 2007 season was held. Two people were nominated: Kris Tierney and Fred Andreae. An anonymous vote was held using paper ballot, and Kris Tierney was re-elected for a second term.

There was a brief discussion of the bylaws that were presented to the Commission by the Department of the Interior. The Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt these bylaws for the Park Advisory Commission.

The Commissioners discussed the process for informing the public of the GMP alternatives. They encouraged the NPS to inform the public of the alternative concepts either through a newsletter or a public meeting. This should occur prior to issuance of the Draft GMP. The Commissioners also encouraged the NPS to present the draft alternatives to the Key Partner organizations and to local
governments.

Commissioner Jim Smalls asked if he could make a brief presentation at the next Park Advisory Commission meeting on the George Washington / Jefferson National Forest planning process.

The next meeting will be on 18 January 2007 at the Middletown Town Hall.

With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Bowser.

List of handouts provided at 21 September 2006 meeting

1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from 21 September 2006 Commission meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Bylaws from the Dept. of the Interior
5. Draft Conceptual Alternatives paper, dated November 9, 2006

Appendix I – Discussion of Draft Alternative Management Concepts (9 November 2006 Version)
• The question was raised as to whether the Park would consider an equestrian trail in addition to the planned hiking and biking trails.
• There was some discussion about there not being enough distinction among the alternatives. We should clarify the differences between the alternatives. One possibility is to combine two of the alternatives, perhaps C and D.
• There is confusion about actions common to all alternatives: if each of the boxes is checked for a particular decision point, shouldn’t this be moved to the “actions common to all alternatives?”
• There is a need to highlight the cooperation with the National Historic District in all alternatives.
• There was a suggestion to globally replace “Park” with “Partnership Park”.
• There is a need in the GMP to have a definitions section near the front of the document and define “Park”, “Key Partners”, “National Historic District”, etc.
• Under “related resources”, the wording should be tightened – define the term “related resources” and drop “thematically related to the park”.
• Under “Collaborative Relationship”, should there be a financial component? There should be a reciprocal relationship where the NPS and Key Partners bring finances to the table – a mutually supporting financial commitment. This should be a new decision point. Under this decision point, the Key Partners would become a “Friends” group like at other NPS units.
• “Technical Assistance” – this term needs to be specifically defined in the GMP. What does it mean?
• Technical assistance should be provided to communities in all alternatives, not just C and D.
• Geographic distinctions may not be the best way to define the differences among alternatives regarding technical assistance. Would we really make a distinction between the viewshed and the National Historic District? Rather, this should focus on where the park would put its priorities for technical assistance. Inside the park is top priority; outside is lower priority.
• Overall, the alternative concepts were well received by the Commissioners. We have found a way to address all the interpretive themes and focus on the key decision points. The Commissioners feel the NPS should proceed with developing these alternatives.
• The Commissioners applauded the change from the concepts that were presented on September 21, 2006, which were seen as divisive. The new alternative concepts are more functional.


September 21, 2006

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
September 21, 2006
Warren County Government Center
Front Royal, Virginia
Agenda
I) General Introductions
II) Review and Approval of Minutes from 20 July 2006 (10 minutes)
III) Election of Commission Chair (10 minutes)
IV) GMP Status Update (10 minutes)
V) GMP alternative concepts; presentation and discussion – Michael Clarke, Wallace Roberts
& Todd (90 minutes)
VI) Presentation from Department of Interior Solicitor on federal advisory commissions and bylaws [speaker invited but not yet confirmed] (60 minutes)
VII) Old Business
VIII) New Business
IX) Election of Vice-Chair in November
X) Next Meeting – 16 November 2006 in Strasburg

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Mary Bowser, Chairperson; Elizabeth McClung; Richard Kleese; Howard Kittell; Gene Dicks; Jim Smalls; Randolph Jones; Patrick Farris; Fred Andreae; Dan Stickley

Commission members absent: Kris Tierney; Roy Downey; Gary Rinkerman;

Others in attendance: Chris Stubbs, NPS; Michael Clarke, WRT; Wendy Hamilton,
Preserve Frederick; Hale Hawbecker, Dept. of Interior; Robert King, Northern Virginia Daily; John Hornick, Shenandoah Long Rifles; Kevin Seabrooke, the Warren Sentinel

Chairperson Mary Bowser chaired the meeting.
The notes from the 20 July 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved as written.
The vote for the Commission Chairperson for the 2006-2007 season was held. Three nominations were received by the National Park Service, all for Mary Bowser. A voice vote was held, and Dr. Bowser was elected for a second term by unanimous vote, with one abstention. During the November 2006 meeting, the Commissioners will vote for a Vice Chairperson.

Mr. Chris Stubbs of the National Park Service provided a general management plan status update to the Commission, the details of which were handed out to the Commissioners and the public.

There was a presentation from Mr. Stubbs on the park’s draft Foundation Plan. This document is a formal statement of the core mission of the Park, provides basic guidance for decision making, and is the first step toward GMP planning. Mr. Stubbs encouraged all Commissioners to send him their comments on the draft foundation plan. After the presentation, there was a short discussion on the
foundation plan which is documented in the appendix to these notes.

There was a presentation from Mr. Michael Clarke from the consulting firm Wallace Roberts & Todd on GMP conceptual alternatives, then there was a facilitated discussion on the topic. A summary of this presentation and the discussion that occurred during the presentation are appended to these
commission notes.

There was a presentation and a Q&A session with Hale Hawbecker, Dept. of Interior Solicitor, on federal advisory commissions and bylaws. The following summarizes the main points of Mr. Hawbecker’s talk:
• In his observation, the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP Commission is collegial and functioning well.
• There are some problems with the version of the bylaws submitted by the Commission – it would be better to use the version provided by the Dept. of Interior.
• There are problems with using Roberts Rules of Order to run meetings. The Department prefers that meetings are run by consensus and that voting is only held for basic things like approving meeting minutes. The “consensus process” is much better for providing advice, which is the role of the Commission.
• If the Commission is to have bylaws, they should be simple. “If you build yourself a box, then you have to stay in that box.” Complex bylaws can lead to successful legal challenges.
• Regarding Commission procedures, Mr. Hawbecker reminded the group that handouts and e-mails shared regarding Commission business are public documents and are available to the public. Do not send any e-mails that you do not want seen by the public.
• Commission subcommittee work is not subject to public scrutiny until it is presented to the full Commission.
• It is okay for the Commission to conduct business between meetings via e-mail and subcommittees, but no final decisions should be made.
• Regarding the Commission’s authority to hold hearings and take public input, any such meetings must comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and all of the regulations that implement the Act. For example, the meetings must be open to the public, advertised in the Federal Register, etc.

Under new business, there was an announcement that the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and Belle Grove would be hosting the 2006 battle reenactment during the weekend of Oct. 21-22. Also, gratitude was expressed to Commissioner Patrick Farris for providing the room and refreshments for the meeting today.

The next meeting will be on 16 November 2006 at the Strasburg Town Hall. With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Bowser.

List of handouts provided at 20 July 2006 meeting


1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from 20 July 2006 Commission meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Bylaws from the Dept. of the Interior
5. Draft Foundation Plan (6 September 2006 Version)
6. Draft Conceptual Alternatives matrix

Appendix I – Discussion of Draft Foundation Plan (6 September 2006 Version)
Significance Statement #1:
• We should add people and the social history of the battle to this concept (e.g., the Ramseur story).
• Civilian farms were important.
• Military camp life was important.

Significance Statement #2:
• This statement is too complex.
• We should not include the pre-historic in this statement.
• Antebellum is generally considered to be the time period between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars – is this what we mean?

The Native American story seems not to be adequately covered in the Foundation Plan. Native American land use may have modified the landscape to such an extent that it impacted Euro settlement of the Valley. Also, the Valley Pike was originally a Native American route, and there are Native American stories at Harmony Hall.

In terms of antebellum history, both the Bowmans and Hites were involved in the Revolutionary War.

Appendix I – Discussion of Alternative Concepts

Michael Clarke from WRT gave a presentation on GMP decision points and potential alternative concepts. A handout was provided to the Commissioners with these potential concepts. Following is the major discussion points:

• Concepts A and B seem too dichotomous – could they create dissension among the partners and the public? Perhaps it would be better to combine A & B into one alternative. A & B seem to polarize the issues unnecessarily. Organizing the alternatives by themes will likely be divisive – probably the internal logic should not be thematically based.
• NPS needs a role in protecting resources – Alt. C is a “straw man” that simply won’t work. One of the primary reasons the Park was created was so that NPS would help protect and preserve resources of the area.
• One idea is to collapse A & B, keep some version of C, and include the No-Action alternative.
• B seems to encapsulate the stories that are within A.
• Another idea is to look at the Park as a model of stewardship of green and open space and land conservation – this could be an alternative, or a paradigm for how to view the alternatives.
o Aggressive resource protection
o Park is a forum and model for how private land owners and nonprofits can protect land and be good stewards
o People can come to NPS for help and assistance in land protection and conservation
o Would have a “green” visitor center
o Heritage would be preserved
o NPS and partners would have a contemporary role in heritage preservation
o Focus would be preservation and conservation
o “Explain the past; preserve the future.”
o Park could have a learning center for resource stewardship
o But, would you lose some of the “storytelling” aspect of park management?
• Another possible paradigm: preserving the heritage of the Park and the Valley vs. telling the story of the Park and the Valley.
• We cannot lose the Civil War component of the park – this is what originally brought all the partners to the table and brings national support and funding.
• Another possible paradigm: the “leaf” vs. the “onion” analogy for looking at history; or, viewing history vertically vs. horizontally. You can either look at the sites and resources as they exist now and interpret that, or you can peel back the onion to look at successive, multiple layers of history at each site. Blandy Farm is an example, with their different types of self guided tours (Boxwood tour, nature walk, conifer tour, etc.)
o But, what would be the differences in how we manage the park under this paradigm?
• The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation plan focused their alternatives around “how” to provide visitor services, not “what” to manage (i.e., visitor center options, etc.).
• Should we organize the alternatives around the management structure of the park?
• We could organize around delivery of visitor services – how visitors interact and where they go.
• Stewardship and conservation was why the National Park Service was originally asked to be a partner.




May 18, 2006
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
May 18, 2006
Strasburg Town Hall
Strasburg, Virginia
I) General Introductions
II) Introduction of Mr. Randolph Jones, representing the Commonwealth of Virginia
III) Review and Approval of Minutes from 16 March 2006 (10 minutes)
IV) GMP Status Update (20 minutes)
V) GMP Alternatives; presentation and discussion – Elizabeth Clarke and Michael Clarke, Wallace Roberts & Todd (120 minutes)
VI) Old Business
• Bylaws Subcommittee update – Mr. Gary Rinkerman
• Status of Town of Strasburg appointment
VII) New Business
VIII) Meetings after July – timing, frequency, duration, location
IX) Next Meeting – 20 July 2006 in Middletown

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Mary Bowser, Chair; Kris Tierney, Vice Chair; Elizabeth McClung; Howard Kittell; Gene Dicks; Jim Smalls; Randolph Jones; Patrick Farris; Fred Andreae; Dan Stickley; Gary Rinkerman

Commission members absent: Roy Downey; Richard Kleese

Others in attendance: Chris Stubbs, NPS; Steven Stubbs, NPS; Sarah Reid, Winchester Star; Catharine Gilliam, National Parks Conservation Assoc.; Mary Ann Littrell; David Blount; Nora Amos, Town of Strasburg; Michael Clarke, WRT; Elizabeth Clarke, WRT

Chairwoman Mary Bowser chaired the meeting.

Chairwoman Bowser introduced Mr. Randolph Jones, the new Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The notes from the 16 March 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

Mr. Chris Stubbs of the National Park Service provided a general management plan status update to the Commission, the details of which were handed out to the Commissioners and the public. There was a discussion of the proposed format for the upcoming NPS
scoping meetings. The meetings will consist of a presentation by the NPS, then small group
discussions with the public in which the Commissioners will play a role. The meeting dates and times were handed out to the Commissioners and the public.

There was also a discussion of the public notification/announcement for the scoping meetings. It was generally felt by the Commissioners that the meetings should be announced widely including:
• Local newspapers
• Radio
• Chambers of commerce and tourism boards
• Local governments
• Local landowners inside the park
• An expanded mailing list, including additions from the partner organizations

There was a presentation from Ms. Elizabeth Clarke from the consulting firm Wallace Roberts & Todd on general management planning in the National Park Service. Ms. Clarke focused particularly on the development of alternatives in GMPs. Then Mr.
Michael Clarke from the same firm gave a presentation that showed examples of how partnership parks have been managed across the country. After these presentations, there was an open-ended discussion among the Commissioners about GMP alternatives, the notes from which are appended to these commission notes.

There was a discussion of the draft by-laws. Mr. Gary Rinkerman stated that the bylaws
subcommittee had worked on the bylaws to make them shorter and remove some of the provisions of concern. Mr. Rinkerman made the changes and the document was then reviewed by the subcommittee. After several more changes, the document has been forwarded to the National Park Service (NPS) for review. The NPS will review the document and then send it on to the Department of Interior Solicitor for review. In addition, the question about the Commission’s role and function regarding holding public meetings and hearings will be forwarded to the Solicitor for clarification.

There was a discussion of the Town of Strasburg vacancy on the Commission, and concern was raised again that this position has not been filled. Ms. Jacox stated that the NPS sent a formal letter requesting that the Town nominate a Commissioner, but has received no response. Nora Amos, Strasburg Town Planner, spoke from the audience and stated that the Mayor would like to wait until July for the appointments of the new Town Council members before making a nomination to the Park Advisory Commission. Ms. Jacox stated that this is a critical position and that waiting until July would be problematic.

There was a discussion of the meetings that would occur after the July Commission meeting. The Commissioners decided to continue to meet bi-monthly, on the third Thursday, at 9:00 a.m. For the next year, the meetings will rotate between Front Royal (Warren County Government Center), Strasburg (Strasburg Town Hall), and Middletown (Middletown Town Hall). The NPS will prepare a schedule and Federal Register Notice for these meetings.


The ext meeting will be on July 20, 2006 at the Middletown Town Hall, Middletown,
VA.

With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned by Chairwoman Bowser.

List of handouts provided at 18 May 2006 meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from 16 March 2006 Commission meeting
3. GMP status update
4. Dates, locations, and time for NPS scoping meetings
Appendix I – Notes on General Management Plan Alternatives
After the presentation by Elizabeth and Michael Clarke of Wallace Roberts & Todd, the Commissioners engaged in a discussion of GMP alternatives. The discussion points are presented in no particular order of importance:

• NPS current funding realities must be incorporated into the planning process
• Funding levels will have an impact on each partner
• Important for partners to be sure they have the financial resources to sustain their
operations
• There is a favorable view of the cluster concept as depicted in the SVBF plan
• There is the major question of how to get “buy-in” for the NPS GMP decisions – one option is for the various stakeholders to be bound by a legal document
o No matter how good the plan is, it will not be implemented if there is not a vehicle that
requires the parties to interact; for example, Frederick County could choose to ignore the plan and then it would become irrelevant
• One possible management entity is a foundation with a board and voting members including the key partners
o Can the NPS be legally bound to a voting board?
o Can the Park Advisory Commission serve as this entity?
o Figuring out the management entity may be the most difficult aspect of this plan
o There must be an entity that the public can approach for park information, interpretation, etc. There must be a management entity for the park.
o SVBF could serve as an example
o Local governments must buy in to whatever entity is created or park will not be successful – we must engage local governments in the GMP process
• To what extent are we talking about managing each other’s operations or are we talking about managing our own operations and collaborating?
• Probably more likely a collaboration – details of each operation should be left to the
organization that manages that operation
• GMP should have general principles for how the stakeholders collaborate
• The cooperative agreements could be the instrument for enforcing the implementation of the GMP
• Perhaps the Park Advisory Commission could serve as the basis for the collaboration
• For partners to cede some level of autonomy there would have to be something that they get back in return
o Ceding autonomy to the collective vision
o But partners must still remain responsive to their boards
• NPS is guided by NPS regulations and policies – agency can only assist the partners and others to the extent that they are guided by these policies as well
o For example, NPS has responsibility to notify public about major activities (for example,
reenactment) that will affect them, but partners do not. There is a desire that the partners would sign on to an elevated commitment to the public
• Partnerships mean something very different today than 20 years ago. Used to mean primarily that it was a way for groups to receive government funding. Now partnerships mean working together and in many cases the partners are funding government programs, facilities, etc. This represents a paradigm shift.
• An important aspect of the partnership that we haven’t discussed is the private landowners within the park – very important players – what voice do the private property owners have in the GMP creation?
o Also, “park community partners” (from the legislation) – what does this mean?
o So, there are partners other than the “Cornerstones” – how do we involve them?
o Private property owners are listed as park community partners and have a voice on the Park Advisory Commission
• Private property – we must make sure that private property rights are respected, particularly with regard to park visitors
• We are fortunate that the partners are currently self-sufficient
• The vistas and the setting of the park (landscapes) may be the most important aspect of the area – the GMP must protect these things. The value of the area will be diminished exponentially if the landscape becomes cluttered
o The landscapes are a core value
o Only way to protect landscapes is through partnerships
o Landscapes and views are influenced by forces within and outside the park
• One way to engage local governments is to show them that the park can bring revenue
• GMP and planning process needs to stick to broad vision, then the partners and other
stakeholders contribute resources toward the vision









March 16, 2006
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
March 16, 2006
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia
Meeting Agenda
I) General Introductions
II) Review and Approval of Minutes from 19 January 2006 meeting (10 minutes)
III) GMP Status Update (20 minutes)
IV) Park Foundation Planning and Commissioner Input (30 minutes)
V) National Park Service Visitor Center Planning; presentation and discussion – Ms. Dawn Godwin, NPS Washington Office, Park Planning and Special Studies Division (75 minutes)
VI) Old Business
• bylaws
VII) New Business
VIII) Next Meeting – 18 May 2006 in Strasburg

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Kris Tierney, Vice Chair; Elizabeth McClung; Howard Kittell; Gene Dicks; Jim Smalls; Richard Kleese; Patrick Farris; Fred Andreae; Dan Stickley

Commission members absent: Alson Smith; Roy Downey; Gary Rinkerman; Mary Bowser

Others in attendance: Chris Stubbs, NPS; Marcus Ordonez, Shenandoah Co. Parks & Rec.; Steven Stubbs, NPS; Lisa McDonald, Shenandoah Valley Herald; Heather Richards, Potomac Conservancy; John Sygielski, Lord Fairfax Community College; Harold Strosnider, local resident; Suzanne Chilson, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Sarah Reid, Winchester Star; Dawn Godwin, NPS

Vice-Chair Kris Tierney chaired the meeting.

The notes from the 19 January 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

Mr. Chris Stubbs of the National Park Service provided a general management plan status update to the Commission, the details of which were handed out to the Commissioners and the public.

Mr. Stubbs then gave a presentation on the park’s foundation plan, focusing specifically on
fundamental resources and values. After the brief presentation, Mr. Stubbs facilitated a scoping session in which the Commissioners provided input on fundamental resources and values within the park. The scoping results are appended to these commission notes.

There was a presentation from Ms. Dawn Godwin from the NPS Washington Office Division of Park Planning and Special Studies on planning for facilities and visitor experience. The notes from Ms. Godwin’s PowerPoint presentation will be handed out at the May commission meeting. After her presentation, Ms. Godwin and Mr. Stubbs facilitated a scoping session on visitor experience. The scoping results are appended to these commission notes.

There was a discussion of the draft by-laws. Superintendent Diann Jacox stated that the response from the solicitor on this document indicated that there are several points that are contrary to Federal Advisory Committee Act regulations, and it is generally felt that the by-laws are too lengthy and complex. Chairperson Tierney suggested that it was not a good use of time at the full Commission meeting to discuss the by-laws point-by-point; rather, the subcommittee should take up the by-laws with the goal of simplifying them. Mr. Smalls suggested having no by-laws as they are not necessary for the Commission to fully function.

A motion was made that the subcommittee take up the by-laws with the goal of simplifying them. Mr. Stubbs will participate in the committee in addition to serving as its organizer. The motion passed.

There was a discussion of the Town of Strasburg vacancy on the Commission, and concern rose that this position has not been filled. Ms. Jacox stated that she has received no reply from Strasburg regarding their nomination, but would have a formal letter sent from the NPS to Strasburg regarding this nomination. There was a discussion about whether the Commission would send a separate letter to the Town of Strasburg urging them to provide a nomination for this important position.

A motion was made that the Commission would send a separate letter. The motion passed and it was agreed that Chairperson Bowser would write the letter.

After a brief discussion of the next meeting, which will be on 18 May 2006 in Strasburg, the
meeting was adjourned.

List of handouts provided at 16 March 2006 meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Minutes from 19 January 2006 Commission meeting
3. GMP status update
Appendix I – Scoping Notes on Fundamental Resources and Values
The definition of fundamental resources and values and other resources and values is summarized as:

Fundamental Resources and Values
• Particular features, systems, structures, processes, experiences, stories, scenes, sounds, landscapes, etc. that are key to achieving the park’s purpose and maintaining it significance
• Resources that will be given primary consideration during planning and management

Other Important Resources and Values
• Resources that are important to planning and management, but not fundamental

Then the group engaged in a discussion of fundamental and other resources and values. They are, in no particular order of importance:

• There are at least two historic structures in the park that retain their integrity: Belle
Grove and Harmony Hall – the settings and stories associated with these historic structures are significant
• The Harriet Robinson / Belle Grove story
• The relationship between slaves and owners during plantation life
• Slavery and plantation community
• Landscapes / land use / the rustic, rural character of the area
• Natural and historical landscapes
• Views and the viewshed – the viewshed hasn’t changed much since the Civil War
• Transportation and the Valley Pike
• Issues associated with Valley settlement
• Interpretation of the Valley Pike: from a hunting path to a wagon road to the turnpike to
Route 11
• Commerce in the Valley – moving crops and other products
• The Shenandoah Valley as America’s first frontier (may be some Native American sensitivity to this)
• Civil War – the topography was critical to the battle; this topography has changed very little
• The Civil War
• The Valley was in the Federal plan to end the War
• Valley was a “backdoor” to Richmond and Washington
• Losing the Valley was the “beginning of the end” of the Confederacy or the “beginning of the end” of the War
• There were no further threats to DC once the Valley was in Union control and they could focus on Lee’s army
• The Battle of Cedar Creek was strategically critical to the war
• Agriculture

• The natural environment and its relationship to the built environment
• Signal Knob
• The topography of the Valley funneled travel, transportation, and commerce
• The Valley as a breadbasket – this was important during the Civil War
Appendix II – Scoping Notes on Facilities and Visitor Experience
How should visitors receive information?
• Small groups at Belle Grove
• Battlefield tours
• Acquire the ability to service large groups at the annual reenactment
• Harmony Hall tours should be held
• Visitors should be able to be out of their cars, on the landscape, either in groups or having
a private experience

Mobility
• We need to consider the mobility-impaired as well as those more ambulatory
• Provide some wheelchair access to important sites as appropriate

What do we want to interpret?
• “Depends on the site”
• Technology may help reduce a clutter of signs on the landscape
• Troop movements and military history important, but must be careful not to clutter landscape
• Maybe have a hub with a panoramic view and a wayside keyed into attractions
• Multiple interpretive media
• Some places simply require a “live” interpreter so individual tours can be tailored to the
audience

Development Zoning / Visitor Center
• Should be in a central location
• We need to think about our impact and other development we could spur
• Possibility of having a multi-use or shared facility with partners
• Possible interim solution – co-locating with Lord Fairfax
• Should have a panoramic view of the battlefield and park
• Are there existing facilities that could be used?




Last updated: October 5, 2018

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 700
Middletown, VA 22645

Phone:

540-869-3051

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