Monroe County citizen issues statement concerning closure of Jefferson National Forest

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The Government Give-away of our Public Lands

On Mar. 7, the USFS issued an order closing parts of the Jefferson National Forest and the Monongahela National Forest in the areas where the MVP and the ACP are to be built through the respective National Forests.  Citing safety concerns they threaten people or organizations with the following sanctions for violating this order: “Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. (16 U.S.C. 551 and 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).”

As a citizen of Monroe County who has been hiking and protecting the Appalachian Trail and the Jefferson National Forest for more than 40 years I am appalled at this directive.  It may seem to the average person that this was done to insure public safety, but I assure you that the intent of this order is to keep citizens, the press and other local officials from monitoring the pipeline construction activities.  This is government over reach by bullying and threat of arrest, fines and imprisonment.

With this order the give-away of our PUBLIC Lands and the destructions of NATIONAL TREASURES like the Appalachian Trail is complete. We the People of WV and VA will stand together to fight this government give away for private profit. This will not stand.

Sincerely,

Maury Johnson

Greenville, Monroe Co.