Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, legislation that would add a total of 5,600 acres to two existing wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia. A wilderness designation is the highest level of protection for public land under federal law. These additions were recommended by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014 and endorsed by members of the GW National Forest Stakeholder Collaborative, a group of forest users that has worked together for seven years to agree on acceptable locations in the GW for wilderness, timber harvest, trails, and other uses.   

“These wilderness designations will preserve these beautiful wild areas of the George Washington National Forest in perpetuity,” the Senators said. “The good-faith work that went into this bill by local stakeholders shows that land-use decisions need not be adversarial and that we can provide for sustainable use of National Forest lands for many purposes while also preserving Virginia’s most treasured spaces. I’m thankful for all the local officials and conservationists who’ve worked together over the years to create this plan, and we’ll continue working to ensure this bill is signed into law.”

The Senate passed Warner and Kaine’s bill in January 2020, but the legislation was not signed into law.

 ###

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $2,390,400 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide much needed infrastructure improvements around the Commonwealth. The funding was awarded through the Community Facilities Direct Loans & Grants Program and the Community Facilities Loan Guarantees Program, both administered by USDA’s Rural Development. These programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants to develop or improve essential public facilities in rural communities.

“We’re glad to see significant federal funding go toward investing in the infrastructure of our rural communities,” said the Senators. “These investments will help these regions better meet the needs of the communities they serve while continuing to address public safety challenges amid the COVID pandemic.”

The funding will be awarded through a grant-loan combination. A breakdown of the funding is below:

  • Greensville County will receive a loan of $1,146,200 to purchase a new E-1 ladder fire truck for the Greensville Fire Department.
  • Town of Blackstone will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $78,000 to purchase a new sanitation vehicle. Additionally, Blackstone will receive two grants totaling $150,000 and two loans totaling $104,000 to purchase two new dump trucks for the town.
  • Richmond County will receive a grant of $21,000 and a loan of $35,000 to purchase two law enforcement vehicles.
  • Richmond County Volunteer Fire Department Incin Warsaw, Virginia will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $375,000 to purchase a fire truck with a 3,000-gallon capacity to improve access to rural areas.
  • Russell County Public Service Authority in Lebanon, Virginia will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $97,700 to purchase six service trucks.
  • Town of Exmore will receive a grant of $54,000 and a loan of $19,000 purchase a used street sweeper.
  • Town of Brodnax will receive a grant of $66,000 to purchase three new sewer pumps and pump station controllers.
  • Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department will receive a grant of $19,500 to purchase a utility terrain vehicle (UTV), trailer, and equipment.

 ###