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Natural Bridge could find permanent refuge in the National Park Service.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
It is encouraging to read of efforts under way to preserve Natural Bridge for posterity. The fate of the 215-foot high, awe-inspiring limestone formation rests upon who next holds title to the property.
Broker Jim Woltz reports several nonprofit and conservation-minded groups are planning to raise funds to meet a purchase price that has yet to be disclosed. And Rep. Bob Goodlatte has suggested the bridge might find a home among the nation’s treasured lands; he has asked for a study to determine if Natural Bridge should become part of the National Park Service. He seeks two caveats: It would be done with private funds, and a conservation easement would protect adjoining property.
All good, if not light on addressing continued maintenance and operation — key components. The study must address those tougher long-term issues, recognizing that members of Congress are often enthusiastic about conserving pieces of their district in a park system that collectively they are unwilling to fully support.
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