SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 28
(By Senators Stollings, Edgell, Kirkendoll and Beach)
Requesting the Division of Natural Resources study the feasibility of making the Upper Mud River Wildlife Management and Recreation Area in Lincoln County a state park or other designated area, as may be appropriate.
Whereas, The Upper Mud River Wildlife Management and Recreation Area is part of the Upper Mud River Site 2-A Multipurpose Flood Control Recreation Project built by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Soil Conservation Agency and the Division of Natural Resources. Project sponsors include the following entities: Soil Conservation Agency, Guyan Soil Conservation District, Lincoln County Commission and the Division of Natural Resources. The total area comprises 1,600 acres, including a 307-acre lake and required twenty-five years to complete at a cost of $25 million; and
Whereas, The Upper Mud River Dam is a 75-foot dam that creates a 307-acre lake that can store 8,850 acre-feet of flood water, temporarily storing runoff water during periods of high rainfall and protecting the town of Hamlin from the risk of flood damage. The recreational facilities of the project were completed and opened to the public in July, 1999. The recreation and support facilities of the project include the following: Access roads, boat launch ramp, fishing access for physically challenged anglers, hiking trails, swimming, beach, playground equipment, picnic shelters, softball field, restrooms, picnic tables, sewage treatment system, water treatment system, superintendent’s residence, office and storage facility and fuel storage facility. The Mud River Dam was built to assist in the control of floods and to provide some recreation. The dam has two boat docks and two man-made beaches. One of the beaches is fully developed with bath house and eighty picnic tables with grills and a covered shelter. The second beach is located on the Left Fork at what is known as Camp Lakeview. This is fifty acres set aside for a youth camp and has a caretaker house with some rustic camping. Near the dam is a private campground on Route 7 north of the main dam. Near the main beach is a covered stage for performing events. The county provides a bluegrass and gospel program each spring/summer. Other private events are scheduled as requested. On the south end of the dam is a certified shooting range for public use. The range contains eight shooting stations with twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five and one hundred yards of target shooting. The Lincoln County commission provides one shooting event open to the public free of charge with prizes being provided for each event. Just south of the main dam is a fully functional boat dock with parking for forty vehicles and a bathroom facility and covered picnic area. Once a year in the spring, the Lincoln county commission provides and sponsors a kids’ fishing tournament for ages four through fourteen years with the theme of "Hooked on Fishing not Drugs". The Mud River Dam is within five miles of a future horse park as provided in an agreement with Hobet Mining, Robin Land Company and the Lincoln County commission. The location is east of the dam on Route 7. A 100-acre site will provide a horse ring, camping and other recreation; and
Whereas, The Division of Natural Resources signed a lease agreement in February, 1996, with the Lincoln County commission to manage 1,425 acres of the project area as a wildlife management area for the benefit and enjoyment of Lincoln County residents and other visitors. The wildlife management area activities include: Forty acres of wildlife clearings, eighteen wood duck nest boxes, management and stocking of fish, the release of black bears in the area and hunting opportunities. During 2000 alone, an estimated 11,705 anglers, 351 hunters and 14,350 other outdoor enthusiasts utilized the Wildlife Management and Recreation Area. The residents of the area served by the Upper Mud River Wildlife Management and Recreation Area and other visitors utilize and enjoy the facilities on a regular basis; and
Whereas, The Mud River Dam is near the Big Ugly Wildlife Hunting Area and a future site for the second Hatfield and McCoy Trail System. Once completed this system will be near the dam, the horse park and the Ivy Branch System. The Hatfield and McCoy Trails in Lincoln County is scheduled to open on Ivy Branch which is located near U. S. 119 and the Boone County Hatfield and McCoy Trail System. These two systems will be connected by means of a low-water bridge near the Boone County Trail Head. This will provide access to established campgrounds on U. S. 119 and the Boone County Water Ways. On County Route 7 just below the dam is a private campground with full hook up and cabins. All of these provisions will create a hub for recreation in a ten-mile radius in Boone and Lincoln counties; and
Whereas, Several area residents have voiced the opinion that they would like to see the area developed into a state park or other designated area, as may be appropriate, to broaden the opportunities for the project; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Division of Natural Resources is hereby requested to study the feasibility of making the Upper Mud River Wildlife Management and Recreation Area in Lincoln County a state park or other designated area, as may be appropriate; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Natural Resources shall prepare a comprehensive plan for the development and utilization of the area with timelines and budget projections; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Natural Resources report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on its findings, conclusions, recommendations and its comprehensive plan, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations, on or before December 1, 2013.