November 28, 2014

See the James River in a New Way (and Help Protect the View)


The James River, one of our new National Treasures, is facing a severe development threat.

Earlier this year the National Trust named the James River at Jamestown to our list of National Treasures deserving protection. The threat facing the James River is Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to build a high voltage transmission line that would be visible from Jamestown Island, Colonial Parkway, and other resources located in the heart of Virginia’s Historic Triangle.

Additionally, the James River itself is part of the first congressionally designated national water trail -- the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail -- which traces the history of the Chesapeake from the 17th century.

With the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, the National Trust put together a story map using GIS technology to help the public better understand and visualize the threat posed by the transmission line. Take a look:

The National Trust also developed a 3D model that depicts the view of the transmission towers from different vantage points. This model was developed using LiDAR and tree cover data produced by the federal government.

Now that you’ve seen the size and scale of the planned transmission lines and their impact on historic resources, please join us in objecting to this construction plan. Before the line can be built, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must approve a federal permit. They are poised to approve this disastrous proposal soon, but have asked for public comment on the permit request by December 6, 2014.

Please take action today to let the U.S Army Corps know that Dominion Virginia Power should route its transmission line in a way that retains the nationally significant historic, scenic, and natural assets of this region.

Learn more about James River at

Sharee is a senior associate general counsel at the National Trust.

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