Proposal to add 50,000 acres to Blue Ridge Parkway lands

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According to the Asheville Citizen Times and the Times-News Online today, the Blue Ridge Parkway Protection Act has been introduced into the house, which would authorize $75 million to acquire high priority lands adjacent to the existing Parkway corridor. The goal of the bill, which is being introduced while the Parkway celebrates its 75th anniversary, would be to protect adjacent land from development for resource conservation and viewshed preservation. Although the bill does not specify which lands are being targeted, and will not seek to acquire land through eminent domain, added lands would likely be available for recreational purposes, so this could eventually have an effect on the total area available for on-trail opportunities for hiking and mountain biking in the region as well.

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