DWR seeks public review of Virginia Bear Management Plan

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is seeking public review of the next Virginia Bear Management Plan through September 5, 2023.

Once finalized, the new Bear Plan will guide bear management in the Commonwealth through 2032.

This includes a mission statement and six goals that address the areas of populations, habitat, recreation, human-bear conflicts, health, and welfare.

The first Bear Plan was established in 2001 and has been revised twice through the years through the involvement of public stakeholders and managers of bears in Virginia.

It is important to continue to develop and improve the plan to incorporate current public values and biological considerations.

For more information on bears from the DWR, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Virginia tourism increased over 20% in 2022

Virginia saw a 20.3% increase in tourism in 2022 according to an announcement from Governor Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Total visitor spending generated $30.3 billion and directly supported over 210,000 jobs.

Travelers on average spent $83 million per day in the Commonwealth which directly drove nearly $2.2 billion in state and local tax revenues for the year.

The leading tourism sectors are recreation and food and beverage which exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 10%.

Transportation, especially air travel, had a slower recovery but the fastest growth in 2022.

One reason for the growth includes the use of marketing dollars distributed through the American Rescue Plan Act which helped Virginia reach roughly 15 million more households in 2022 than 2021. 

For a detailed look at Virginia’s economic impact data, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

NPS reinstates ticket program for Old Rag

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

The National Park Service announced they will continue the day hiking ticket program for Old Rag hiking in 2023.

From March 1 through November 30, a day-use ticket will be required to hike on the Saddle Trail, Ridge Trail and Ridge Access Trail areas in the Shenandoah National Park.

A ticket needs to be purchased for $1 at recreation.gov with the goal of helping to ease crowding on Old Rag.

A cap of 800 hikers are permitted per day with 400 tickets available 30 days before arrival  and the next 400 being released 5 days before.

Tickets will not be required December 1 through February 28.

For more information on Old Rag Day-Use Ticket’s click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.