JOINT NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release April 12, 2022 –
Director of Economic Development
Rockbridge County, VA
Office: (540) 463-1473
Maury River Designated a Virginia Scenic River
Rockbridge County, VA – Rockbridge County is pleased to join the City of Buena Vista, the City of Lexington, the Town of Glasgow, the Scenic Maury Committee, and the Rockbridge Regional Office of Tourism in celebrating the passage of legislation designating the remaining portion of the Maury River as a Virginia Scenic River, signed into law April 11, 2022. Effective July 1, 2022, the entire 42.4 miles of the Maury River from the confluence of the Calfpasture and Little Calfpasture Rivers, through Rockbridge County, the Cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, and the Town of Glasgow, to the confluence of the James River in Glasgow will become part of the celebrated statewide program.
Scenic River designation is made possible by the Virginia Scenic Rivers Program, which began in 1970 when the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia State Scenic River Act. The program identifies, recognizes, and provides a level of protection to rivers with significant scenic, historic, recreational, and natural values. To date, 34 rivers totaling more than 900 miles have been designated by the legislation. In addition to its scenic beauty and historic significance, the Maury is especially unique in Virginia in that it is the only river that begins and ends in the same County. The process was initiated in 2019 by a citizen group, which became the Scenic Maury Committee, and resulted in Rockbridge County’s request to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to designate the first 19.25 miles from the headwaters to the Rt 631 – Furrs Mill Road bridge. The first section well exceeded the minimum standards for inclusion, leading the committee to continue the process to designate the remainder of the Maury River in 2021.
Scenic Maury Committee Chair, David Hopkins, noted that time on the river is, “a wonderful experience immersed in sounds of water and rocks, wind and trees, wildflowers and wildlife, scenic vistas and landscapes, floating past the historic and geologic features that make the Maury special and worthy of the Scenic River designation. I hope the efforts of our citizen group and the endorsement of our civic leaders for this designation can help preserve this amazing resource for the future.”
Following DCR’s recommendation, and subsequent resolutions of support adopted by the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors, the City Councils of Lexington and Buena Vista and the Glasgow Town Council, Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate Ronnie Campbell introduced and championed SB292 and HB28 in the 2022 legislative session.
Senator Deeds stated, “I have canoed, fished, and swam in the Maury River. It is one of the most beautiful attributes of the Rockbridge area. The designation will help bring tourists and dollars to our community.”
“I was glad to enter legislation to add the other half of the Maury River into the HB 28, which declared the river a scenic waterway. Now the Maury River and the James River in Rockbridge County are scenic waterways,” stated Delegate Campbell.
“We appreciate the support given by Senator Deeds and Delegate Campbell throughout this process,” stated Chairman of the Rockbridge Board of Supervisors David McDaniel. “The efforts of The Maury Scenic Committee, staff, and other interested parties have been significant and have resulted in the successful induction of the entire Maury River into the Virginia Scenic Rivers program.”
Jean Clark, Director of the Rockbridge Area Office of Tourism concurred, adding, “We are fortunate to call such treasures as the Maury River our own. But we are even more fortunate to have citizens and leadership at the local and state level who recognize that fact and are willing to act.”
An on-site celebration of the designation will be planned for the summer of 2022.
Find the official news release here.