Category Archives: National Heritage Area

Wythe County Says NO NHA


Wytheville declines to endorse Crooked Road plans


Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 4:06 pm

Millie Rothrock

After months of hearing about and discussing whether or not to endorse The Crooked Road’s plan to secure a National Heritage Area designation for the region, Wythe County supervisors came to a decision Tuesday.

Their decision was a unanimous no.

Go here for more.



No one can dispute Southwest Virginia’s
uniquely rich musical heritage. We must continue efforts to leverage that distinction in a
way that brings tourists to our region and job
opportunities to our citizens. But after careful
consideration, I remain unconvinced that
designating The Crooked Road as a National
Heritage Area is in the best interest of my
constituents. Tourism success stories in
SWVA occur when risks are managed and
certainty surrounds the project and unfortunately, that cannot be said about the NHA designation at this time.
Senator Bill Carrico

The Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage
Foundation does not support the National
Heritage Area Designation.
Delegate Terry Kilgore, Chairman, Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation


After much studying, I have decided that I will
not be supporting the proposed NHA designation for The Crooked Road. Too many questions persist and our proud music heritage is already being successfully marketed all across the country, and indeed the world. I
question whether the additional designation
will be worth the undertaking of risk.
Delegate Israel O’Quinn

While the goals of The Crooked Road National Heritage Area may be noble in trying to promote Southwest Virginia musical heritage,
the Federal National Heritage designation
may put the rights of property owners at risk.
That is why I have not and will not support
the National Heritage Area designation.
Delegate Nick Rush
Although I understand that the proposed National Heritage Area will
bring in new money, there are many concerns which remain unanswered.
Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark

Delegate Joseph Yost and Delegate
Will Morefield did not return our calls
or emails with a statement on the
NHA. However, Delegate Morefield has since gone on record opposing the NHA designation.

In 2012, the Smyth County Board of
Supervisors voted to defund The
Crooked Road Organization.

What if the Park Service decides to
regulate The Crooked Road? The
only recourse we would have is to
take them to court. He added that he
has a real problem with that because
our opinion of what infringes on property rights may differ.
Pulaski County Supervisor, Andy McCready

Supervisor Ron Blevins (Smyth
County), Supervisor Bill Gibson
(Washington County) and Supervisor
Bob Gibson (Russell County) are all
outspoken opponents of the NHA.
In November 2012, at their annual
meemeemeemeeting in Roanoke, the
Virginia Farm Bureau voted unanimously to oppose the National Heritage Area designation.

Who are Heritage Area VICTIMS?

Bart Dye’s bad fortune, along
with that of several other farmers
in his area of Shoals in southwestern Indiana, began in 1977, when,
as president of the Martin County
Farm Bureau, he organized the
farmers to oppose the expansion of
nearby Hoosier National Forest,
which was gobbling up farmland…………….
“Over 700 homes and businesses are currently within the
boundaries of the national lakeshore, despite the promise by the
federal government in 1965 that
there would be no condemnation of
homes and businesses,” said William Theis, a leader of STOP,
which he said has 310 members and
has collected 16,000 signatures on
a petition against dunes park expansion. “Literally hundreds of people
were forced to sell their homes
against their will and feel they were
not adequately compensated.”

The Yukon Cleansing

The Park Service essentially told everyone they
could go on living their accustomed
“subsistence lifestyle,” as it was a
“cultural value” worthy of protection.
But the deep changes NPS brought
pulled the future out from under the
people, for their rights didn’t extend
to the next generation and their present lives now operated under an incomprehensible permit system


Congress created the Yuma Crossing NHA, and hardly any of the locals knew about it until Lee Ott saw the surveyors on his property………


The Journey Through Hallowed Ground from Charlottesville to Gettysburg… is a sweet deal that could leave the Partnership “with a near monopoly on real estate development opportunities within the [JTHG] area………..

In the National Coal Heritage Area the people of
Hinton wanted funds to repair a local road. They lobbied their
legislators for several years, and finally the federal funding came
through. At that point, the National Park Service stepped in.
Because the local road was in a Heritage Area, Park Service
officials announced, the money would be used to create a Scenic
Parkway. The Scenic Parkwaycalled for condemning dozens of
properties, forcing people out of their homes.…..

The Wheeling National
Heritage Act Corporation…take properties away
from their present owners and
give them to other private retail
businesses of the City’s choosing….


images (3)

What did a historic survey find?

Private landowners ostensibly selling their properties to the National Park Service are in fact not bona fide sellers but are giving up title to
escape the legal expenses of a
foredoomed condemnation.

A problem arises when Park
Service officials are using
their jargon term SELLER
outside their circle, understood by the public in the
generally accepted meaning of
a free agent conducting business. A clever Park promoter
even coined the slogan WILLING SELLER/WILLING
BUYER, falsely implying that
the two parties are on an
equal footing. This slogan has
developed into a mantra recited at hearings and discussions on Park expansion for
the deception of legislators
and the general public.
 It is reasonable to assume that
Park Service extortion was
exercised in most of the
1,130 title transactions.




At the bottom of this bowl of alphabet soup lies the origin of the push to put SWVA under the jurisdic-
tion of the National Park Service. The NHA brainstorm didn’t just start back in August of 2012, when a
few local newspapers discreetly announced some “public information meetings”. (There were twelve
meetings total, with about 30 attendees being the largest group.) The Crooked Road Heritage Music
Trail evolved from an Arts & Crafts Initiative launched in 2001 by Governor Warner that became
known as ‘Round the Mountain, SWVA’s Artisan Network. By 2006, Governor Kaine adopted
“Appalachia Forward”, a program that laid the foundation for getting funding through the Appalachian
Regional Commission, a federal-state-local partnership composed of the governors of the 13 Appala-
chian states and a federal co-chair.
In 2008, the VA legislature set up the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission. In 2010, they set up another non-profit, Friends of Southwesimages (1)t Virginia, to manage funds coming into each of the developing entities. The Commission then became a non-profit Foundation in 2011 and according to VA Code §2.2-2734, the SWVACHF was established as a body politic and corporate. The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage the economic development of Southwest Virginia through the expansion of cultural and natural heritage ventures and initiatives related to tourism and other asset-based enterprises, including Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Center, The Crooked Road, ‘Round the Mountain, and other related cultural and natural heritage organizations and venues that promote entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.
When—and by whom—the decision was made to seek NHA status remains unclear. But in 2008, an
economic impact study of The Crooked Road was conducted by Sustainable Development Consulting
International, LLC, something that the National Park Service “encourages” in their NHA guidelines.
What is made abundantly clear in the analysis of ARC programs done by Regional Technology Strategies (see below)
is that The Crooked Road et al is the Appalachian Regional Commission’s flagship project, a
“creative cluster” in a “strategic series of projects”. And that their agenda is one of “Formulating A Sus-
tainable Economic Development Process For Rural America”. Sounds noble enough.

Only it’s not yo’ daddy’s sweat equity and all-American can-do spirit that will build this new rural economy for Southwest Virginia….it’s the Triple Bottom Line, the new-fangled business model that levels the playing field between filling a demand by producing a good product with equal parts social equity and environmental justice.

and that includes equity between species, along with mitigating your carbon output. As the report confirms,
TBL  was borne of UN Agenda 21 and what became known as Sustainable Development.
The  report credits the Conservation Fund for their efforts in creating the TBL model “embedded
within the strategies” of ARC goals. A non-government organization (NGO)  involved in promoting
government control of land use since the UN Habitat I Conference in 1976 and part of the EPA’s Smart
Growth Network, the Conservation Fund is an ARC grant recipient.
The Ford Foundation, a major contributor to ARC, funded the report. The Ford Foundation is also part
of the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. They are partnered with ICLEI
(International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), the self-described implementation arm of
UN Agenda 21 and led the discussion on creating Sustainable Cities last June at the 20-year anniver-
sary of the Rio Accords.
The RTS report advocates for standardizing “Triple Bottom Line” Sustainable Development practices,
touting the Global Reporting Initiative. The Ford Foundation is a GRI supporter.
If this is not the new economic model that the rural voters of Southwest Virginia desire, it is time that
SWVA Counties defend the unalienable rights of their constituents.
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