Since declaring the James River a National Treasure, the Trust has worked hard to find alternatives to Dominion Power's efforts to construct new power lines, some as tall as the Statue of Liberty, within the historic triangle near Jamestown, Virginia.
While much of our work has happened through meetings and hearings, we also conducted a month-long campaign to bring awareness to the issue to residents of the region as well as nationally. As the fight continues, we were pleased to see a column by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch earlier this week.
Within in the column, Director Jarvis demonstrates that his support for the cause is personal:
"Like any native-born Virginian, I like to tout my roots in the commonwealth. In the spring of 1620, the English ship Diana landed at Jamestown, and one of the 80 street kids who had been rounded up and shipped to the new land was John Jarvis. He survived the famine, and started a line of Jarvis families, who moved over the Blue Ridge in 1770 and into the Shenandoah Valley where I was born in 1953.
In the fourth grade I learned my Virginia history, which is our nation’s history, starting at Jamestown with famous people like Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, Powhatan and John Rolfe. In high school I worked at Natural Bridge, learning of its survey by George Washington and ownership by Thomas Jefferson. I attended the historic College of William and Mary, deepening my appreciation for both history and nature, often spending time on the James and York rivers and following the new archeological discoveries at Jamestown. I know these experiences led me to a 40-year career with the National Park Service, where I now serve as the director."
And he closes with a strong argument:
"Jamestown has been nobly preserved by the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia for more than 400 years and in partnership with the National Park Service since 1940. Each successive generation of Virginians, as well as countless visitors from across the nation and around the world, have been able to stand on that sacred ground at Jamestown and look downriver, feeling the isolation and challenges our first citizens experienced.
If the proposed power line moves forward, that historic view will be overrun with towers, power lines and blinking lights. There are other viable alternatives to the route of Dominion’s power line, but there is only one Jamestown, and we must protect it from this threat of permanent loss."
Join Director Jarvis and the National Trust by pledging your support to protect the James River!