The Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee announced today that it has been reestablished by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Seven committee members were appointed in January after seeking reestablishment and active participation in the State’s Scenic River Program. Supervisor Sally Kurtz, State Senator Mark Herring, local citizens and organizations supported the revival effort.
Anne Larson, appointee and strong advocate of Catoctin Creek’s beauty and natural resources, commented: “The formation of the Committee has been a long time coming. I am so proud to be a part of this important event.” Other committee members are Otto Gutenson (Chairman), Patti Psaris (Vice Chairman), David Ward (Secretary), Norma Wilson, Eleanor Adams and Nancy Beaver; the last two served on the original Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Board from the 1970s through the 1990s. All live on or near Catoctin Creek.
At the first meeting of the restored committee, Lynn Crump, Environmental Programs Planner for DCR, and Dick Gibbons, Chairman of the Virginia Scenic River Advisory Board, gave a history and overview of the Scenic Rivers Program. Today 24 river segments totaling more than 529 river miles have been designated State Scenic Rivers. Designation gives riparian landowners, local citizens and local governments a greater voice in the planning and implementation of federal and state projects that might affect the creek. All state agencies are required to consider the visual, natural and recreational values of a scenic river in their permitting process. Riparian landowners are offered advice and incentives to preserve those values. Local governments are kept in touch.
Sixteen miles of Catoctin Creek are designated “Scenic River,” from the bridge near the mill at Waterford north to the Potomac. Goose Creek and Catoctin Creek are the only Scenic Rivers in Loudoun County, each now with its own local advisory committee. Advisory committees work with local government and the Virginia Scenic River Advisory Board to keep all parties informed of plans and relevant matters affecting designated waterways.
When the original Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Board was dissolved in 2003, due in part to state government reorganization, Catoctin Creek lost its voice. Reestablishment in 2011 is cause for celebration.
Full details about Virginia’s Scenic River Program are available at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational planning/srmain.shtml
Photo Credit: Carol Clay Ward
The Narrows, Catoctin Creek