Public Access to Public Places – 2011 Conservation Forum

Update! The Conservation Forum is on Monday, March 21, 7:00 pm at the McCoart Government Center, One County Complex, Woodbridge.

The U.S. Government has owned the property that is now the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge for more than forty years. Dove’s Landing, located along the Occoquan River has been owned by Prince William County since 1996. Lake Manassas is an 800 acre water supply reservoir owned by the City of Manassas.

These three publicly owned properties have one thing in common. Although they are valuable potential resources for recreational and educational uses, they are all closed to the public.

Why not use properties that are already owned by the citizens when there is little or no risk of harming the wildlife and environment and the cost of access is relatively low? What are appropriate uses for publicly owned refuges and vacant land? What are the minimum improvements and staffing needed to open these properties to the public?

These are some of the questions to be addressed by a panel of regional experts at the 2011 Annual Conservation Forum Public Access to Public Lands. Keep reading for the Agenda and participating organizations.

AGENDA

Moderator –Kim Hosen, Executive Director, Prince William Conservation Alliance

Rob Hartwell Chairman of the Elizabeth Hartwell Environmental Education Fund, a Commissioner on the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin and a board member and past President of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Foundation.

Gerry Connolly U.S. Congress, 11th District.

Mike Kane – Land Conservation Officer with the Piedmont Environmental Council and Chairman of the Washington Smart Growth Alliance Conservation Program.

Charlie Grymes – Chairman of Prince William Conservation Alliance and teaches Geography at George Mason University. Charlie retired from the Dept. of Interior in 2007.

Q&A and Community Discussion with all speakers

Event Sponsors: Prince William Conservation Alliance, Prince William Wildflower Society, Piedmont Environmental Council, Northern Virginia Bird Club, Sierra Club VA Chapter, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Audubon Naturalist Society

Participating Organizations and Agencies: Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries, National Park Service, Friends of Potomac River Refuges, Friends of the Occoquan, Occoquan Watertrail League, Prince William Trails Council, Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District, and the Washington Sustainable Growth Alliance

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