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Land near McAfee Knob added to Jefferson National Forest

Land near McAfee Knob added to Jefferson National Forest

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ROANOKE - A 237-acre expanse of woodlands, near the popular McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs overlooks in Roanoke County, has been added to the Jefferson National Forest.

The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Forest Service announced the transfer Wednesday, saying it would preserve the scenic views from the two landmarks on the Appalachian Trail’s route through the region.

“By incorporating these 237 acres into Forest System Lands, we ensure this land is available for future generations,” Joby Timm, forest supervisor of the combined George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, said in the announcement.

The two forests cover more than 1.8 million acres in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

When the land on North Mountain was put up for sale by its private owner, The Conservation Fund quickly purchased it to give the Forest Service time to line up federal funding for a parcel that is next to already-conserved lands.

The Forest Service later paid The Conservation Fund $415,000 for the land, using money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a grant from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and a contribution from Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund was made available by Congressional approval in 2020 of the Great American Outdoors Act.

“This land’s prominent location along the ridge of North Mountain and visibility from the Appalachian Trail make it extremely unique,” said Heather Richards, The Conservation Fund’s Mid-Atlantic regional director.

The Roanoke Times

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