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Mon, Dec. 09

West Virginia sportsmens groups oppose national park status for New River Gorge

West Virginia sportsmens groups are opposing the designation of New River Gorge National River as a national park. (Photo/NPS)

West Virginia sportsmens groups are opposing the designation of New River Gorge National River as a national park. (Photo/NPS)

FAYETTEVILLE, W. Va. — West Virginia sportsmen’s groups say they are not happy they could lose about 4,800 acres of hunting land if the New River Gorge National River is designated a national park and preserve.

The Register-Herald reports the proposal by U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin would designate about 64,000 acres as a national preserve, with hunting and fishing allowed.

The National Park area would consist of a little less than 8,000 acres, with hunting restricted. Some of that land already has hunting restrictions but more than half does not.

West Virginia Wildlife Federation President Jerod Harmon tells the paper they will not support additional restrictions on hunters, anglers or trappers.

The senators say a National Park designation will boost tourism.

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