Mayor welcomes KEEN visit underscorin
KEEN Footwear brings its Live Monumental campaign to Lewisburg this month to support creating the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument in the Monongahela National Forest. The proposal will protect incredible lands and waters in the Mon and preserve recreation access to forest; it is backed by nearly 200 West Virginia businesses. The event, which will feature a climbing wall and other outdoor fun, is a stop on a nationwide KEEN tour to bring public attention to five national monument proposals, including Birthplace of Rivers.
“It’s terrific to have KEEN recognize the importance of the Birthplace of Rivers proposal for West Virginia businesses in our $5.2 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Merrick Tracy, owner of Hill and Holler Bicycle Works in Lewisburg, which is hosting the event. “No other place in the eastern United States has a national monument like this, so that alone should make visitors want to visit the Birthplace of Rivers.”
KEEN will join Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester and Lewisburg businesses in asking Senator Joe Manchin and President Obama to “protect the places we play” by designating the Birthplace of Rivers as a national monument before the end of President Obama’s term.
“The clock is ticking, and time is of the essence,” said Manchester. “Polling shows that people want to see the Birthplace of Rivers protected as a national monument,” he said, citing a statewide poll showing that 84 percent of West Virginia voters support safeguarding Birthplace of Rivers as a national monument. Support for the monument crosses party lines.
“West Virginia’s mountains are a national treasure that mean so much to the state’s residents,” said Chris Enlow with KEEN. “Birthplace of Rivers National Monument will preserve access to public lands for people to hike, paddle, raft, hunt, and fish. KEEN is proud to support West Virginians who want to Live Monumental and protect the Birthplace of Rivers.”
“Designating Birthplace of Rivers as a national monument would be a win-win for West Virginia’s economy and natural heritage,” added Tracy. “I hope that Congress or President Obama protects Birthplace of Rivers as a national monument by the end of 2016.”
A national monument can be designated by either Congress or the President. Small business owners, hunters and anglers, outdoor recreationists, local elected officials, faith leaders, and veterans support a Birthplace of Rivers National Monument. Following the event in Lewisburg, KEEN will take the Live Monumental tour to Gauley Fest in Summersville.
For information on polling on Birthplace of Rivers: http://www.wvrivers.org/ProtectingHeadwaters/BirthplaceOfRivers/wvvoters-support-monument
g support from nearly 200 WV businesses