Comments Can Help Shape Summersville Lake Management

Published 1/19/2021  |  American Whitewater

By: Kevin Colburn

A new Draft Master Plan for Summersville Lake is open for public comment until February 16, 2021. The Draft Plan covers the significant public land surrounding the reservoir, including Battle Run Campground, several trails, numerous rock climbing areas, and boat ramps. Unfortunately the Plan does not cover water releases, which the Agency states are covered by a separate plan. Paddlers that use these lands are encouraged to review and comment on the Draft Plan.

The Draft Plan recognizes that flatwater paddling on the reservoir is a growing use, and plans to seperate launch areas for motorized boating and flatwater paddling. This presumably will reduce potential conflicts and provide a better experience for both kinds of reservoir users. The plan also recognizes and seeks to support the unique and high quality rock climbing resources that surround the reservoir. The trails are recognized in the plan as well. We encourage paddlers to share creative ideas on how new or improved recreational infrastructure could help make your visit to the area better. The new plan might not improve paddling, but it just might make the camping, biking, climbing, hiking and flatwater paddling better.

In American Whitewater’s comments we supported the ideas put forward in the Draft Plan and also encouraged the Final Plan to include some recommendations regarding Gauley River flows. We asked that a 3-day-ahead release forecast be implemented, and that the plan encourage enhancements to the dam releases in the spring and summer. It is unclear if these comments will be considered within the scope of the plan, but we believe they should be.

The documents may also be viewed at the following website: http://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicReview.aspx.

Comments pertaining to the documents may be submitted by email to SumLakeMstrPln@usace.army.mil, or by letter to: Ms. Rebecca Rutherford Chief, Environmental Analysis Section, Planning Branch Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 502 Eighth Street Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070

This post first appeared on American Whitewater.

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