Glen Jean, West Virginia—New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Acting Superintendent Leslie Reynolds announced that the FY 2023 President’s Budget Request for the National Park Service proposes to allocate approximately $1.2 million in funding through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) for a project to remove excess structures and abandoned buildings.
The work to demolish derelict structures is scheduled to begin in 2023 and include multiple structures in various locations throughout the park. Work on the project is estimated to be completed in 2024.
The structures proposed to undergo demolition predominately came under park ownership as land was added to the park after its establishment in 1978. The structures, many of which are outbuildings and shacks, have served no administrative purpose to the park, have not been maintained and are in a state of disrepair.
This will be the second project undertaken in the park funded through GAOA. In 2021, New River received approximately $280,000 in funding from GAOA to rehabilitate 30 historic hearths and picnic shelters in the popular Grandview day-use area. This project was accomplished through a NPS Preservation Maintenance Action Team (MAT). Funded by GAOA and operating under the umbrella of the NPS Historic Preservation Training Center and the Historic Architecture and Engineering Center, MAT provides cost-effective opportunities to complete smaller maintenance activities with a geographically based teams of trained and experienced employees.
Funding for the project is from GAOA’s National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund. GAOA is part of a concerted effort to address the extensive maintenance backlog in national parks. Supported by revenue from energy development, the fund provides up to $1.3 billion per year for five years to make significant enhancements in national parks to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education, and enjoyment for current and future visitors.
For updated information about the national parks in southern West Virginia, please visit the park websites at nps.gov/neri, nps.gov/gari, and nps.gov/blue and follow park social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Photo caption: An abandoned structure in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve potentially being funded for demolition through proposed Great American Outdoors Act funding.