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Contact: Sally Hurlbert, 540-999-3500 x. 3300LURAY, VA – The National Park Service (NPS) would like your input on a proposal to restore the Meadow Run watershed in the south district of Shenandoah National Park, northeast of Crimora, Virginia (see map). Decades of acid rain from regional air pollution have affected soil and water quality in this wilderness watershed resulting in negative impacts on aquatic species and overall forest health. Meadow Run is listed as pH-impaired (acid-impaired) under Section 303d of the Clean Water Act. While air pollution has decreased in the last two decades, many sensitive watersheds like Meadow Run do not have the capacity to restore themselves naturally.
The NPS has drafted an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Three alternatives (options) were evaluated including a no-action alternative and two action alternatives. The no-action alternative would let natural processes continue without NPS intervention. The two action alternatives would apply limestone sand (referred to as “liming”) across the project area to reduce the negative effects of acid rain. Liming has proven to be an effective method for improving soil and water chemistry in other locations. It can restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and has beneficial effects on plants and wildlife. Liming at this scale would be conducted by helicopter because of the large amount of limestone sand needed and because the project area is steep and remote. Using a helicopter to perform the liming operation would be similar to wildfire response operations recently experienced within the park and may include operations off the park. Funding for this restoration is available from an air quality permit court settlement in 2016. We are requesting your assistance in evaluating the alternatives and potential impacts of the project to improve ecosystem health in this degraded watershed.
We invite you to learn more about the science behind the project through an interactive story map at https://arcg.is/1Cam8e and/or by visiting the project website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/MeadowRunRestoration. We also invite you to join us for one of two virtual public meetings that will be held via Zoom. Please use the hyperlinks below to join the video meeting.
To join by phone, dial one of the phone numbers below and enter the Webinar ID:
February 9, 2021, between 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST
+1-833-548-0276 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 954-2008-4349
February 11, 2021, between 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST
+1-833-548-0276 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 988-5089-9086
The NPS will be accepting public comments on the EA from January 29 through February 28, 2021.
How to Comment
1. Submit comments electronically at the project website link (preferred method): https://parkplanning.nps.gov/MeadowRunRestoration
2. Submit written comments to the park’s headquarters in Luray, Virginia, by mail to:
Meadow Run Watershed Restoration Project
Superintendent Patrick Kenney
Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East
Luray, VA 22835
Last updated: February 8, 2021