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TCC Responds to Environmental Damage on the Spearhead Trails System

For the past three years The Clinch Coalition engaged with a number of organizations regarding growing concerns over construction practices on the Spearhead Trails system, a 500-mile trail network developed mostly for All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). To date TCC has identified 9 routes on the Spearhead Trails system that allow ATVs to use stream beds as roads, including several streams on properties recently acquired by The Nature Conservancy. Other trails show troubling signs of potential water quality issues.

Following months of discussion with TCC, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) finally cited Spearhead’s Russell Fork Trail for "deficiencies" related to erosion and sediment control. DEQ also issued guidelines to Spearhead Trails detailing how construction practices should be modified across all trails to become compliant with Virginia law. Separately, two stream bed trails in Dickenson and Buchanan counties have been closed following assessments by Spearhead Trails' host landowners.

TCC continues to ensure that remaining problems on the Spearhead Trails system are corrected and that future trails are developed in ways that both grow southwest Virginia's tourism economy and protect our natural resources

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