Quotes from Friends and Neighbors

Here's what friends and neighbors have to say about the Shenandoah Mountain Proposal:

"Many streams on Shenandoah Mountain provide critical habitat for native brook trout because brook trout cannot survive in streams in much of the surrounding area due to high amounts of in-stream fine sediment and high stream temperatures. Forests on Shenandoah Mountain support high quality cold-water stream habitat for brook trout, and brook trout are also heavily dependent on terrestrial invertebrates that fall into the stream from the surrounding forest for food.  The proposal would help protect in-stream habitat and the surrounding forests that this iconic species depends on."  Jennifer Courtwright, Instructor, Biology Department, James Madison University

"The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley supports the proposed Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area because it is in the best interests of all of us, human and other creatures alike, in the face of climate change. It would preserve the forests, which at this time are the most efficient terrestrial carbon sequestration systems, accomplished with energy only from the sun. That carbon, once built into the cells and tissues of the body of the tree, remains there until the tree is burned or decays. Undisturbed forest soils also sequester a surprising amount of carbon. As climate change progresses, whether from either or both natural and anthropogenic causes, unbroken forest corridors will be essential as safe corridors for northward migration of many species. Within a National Scenic Area the trees will be protected while access is maintained for the enjoyment of all."  Anne Nielsen, Climate Action Alliance of the Valley


"As a Christian pastor, one of my most frequent sermon themes is our calling to be good stewards of all that God has given us. We believe God created everything good, that it all belongs to God, and we have been entrusted to care for it. When it comes to this universe we live in, that means that God is the Owner, and we the Trustees. I applaud Friends of Shenandoah Mountain for doing the work of good trustees, and working hard to protect one of our beautiful and precious natural resources. The mountain is only one of many things God entrusted to us, but since it's almost literally in our backyard, we have even greater responsibility for its stewardship. Protecting Shenandoah Mountain, and the multitude of life forms that it supports, is an integral part of what it means for me to be a person of faith. I invite all other persons of faith to join me in this effort."  Phil Kniss, Pastor, Parkview Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg

"Some of my most magical memories are of evenings with friends on the top of Reddish Knob, watching sunsets, moonrises and shooting stars over the ridges. As a n
ative of the region, and as editor of a magazine that celebrates it, I feel strongly about the importance of preserving our wild and beautiful places. The creation of Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area will allow people to enjoy sunsets, moonrises and shooting stars for generations to come."  Cara Ellen Modisett, editor at large, Blue Ridge Country magazine

Photo of Cara Ellen Modisett by Walker Nelms

"The creation of the Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area will really enhance economic growth in Rockingham, Augusta, and Highland counties by greatly increasing the potency of a major attraction to the area."  David Burns, co-owner, The Sole Source, Harrisonburg

“During the past 40-some years that I've been hunting for grouse, turkey, and deer on Shenandoah Mountain, I've had better luck in the mature forests than in the clearcuts.  For this reason I’d like to see the area protected from logging to ensure good hunting in the future.” 
David Hall, Bridgewater (1942 - 2010)

"Shenandoah Mountain is an ecological treasure, and a refuge for many rare and unique plants and animals.  The forests on this mountain provide essential habitat for species that cannot survive in the open and fragmented habitat that dominates surrounding areas.  This proposal will allow these species to continue to thrive on Shenandoah Mountain so that they may be admired and enjoyed by future generations."   Billy Flint, Salamander Ecologist, James Madison University Biology Department

"I like to hunt in the George Washington National Forest.  I'd like to see it protected because when it's clearcut the coons won't stay in it.  They'll come in and feed on some on the berries, but they cut their homes down when they cut the trees. I'd like to see it protected because the coons need the big trees for dens to raise their young."  Norris Campbell, Coon Hunter

"My first visit to the George Washington National Forest over fifty years ago included a stop on Reddish Knob. I was overwhelmed by the view, as all are, but, also, with a sense of gratitude to all those who sought and succeeded in preserving these wild and precious forests. I feel the enacting of the Shenandoah Mountain Proposal would help to sustain conservation efforts for these important forest lands."    
Eizabeth Kyger, Bridgewater

"Shenandoah Mountain is a critical segment of the Great Eastern Trail.   From New York to Alabama this section is one of the most wild and scenic,”  Tom Johnson, President, Great Eastern Trail Association

"Shenandoah Mountain offers some of the best mountain biking and wildest backcountry in the East.  This proposal will protect both." Thomas Jenkins, Shenandoah Bike Shop, Harrisonburg

“Permanent protection of these beautiful natural areas with excellent trail systems will ensure their enjoyment by outdoor enthusiasts long into the future.”
Lee Sheaffer, President, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

"Wilderness is a great equalizer - us, our horses and mules, and the forest... Creation as it must have been when time began." Deb Sensabaugh, President, Virginia Back Country Horsemen

"From the top of Reddish knob one can behold the breathtaking beauty of Shenandoah Mountain.  As stewards of God’s good creation, we need to preserve this unique natural area for generations to come."  
Ann Held, Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg

          by David Matthews, Singer/Songwriter, written for Friends of Shenandoah Mountain
How would I explain a forest to 
Someone who has never been in one – 
The trees and the wind thru them, 
The birds and their songs and 
Their acrobatic flight thru the branches. 
The smell of the last time and 
The time before and the time before 
That, that I was in the woods. The 
Sound and the silence. The peace 
And the crunch of the leaves and the branches
On the snow. The sound of a stream or 
A woodpecker or a squirrel disappearing. 
And the trees reaching up and up 
And up to gather the sun and turn 
Light to air, to jigsaw the moonlit winter
Sky. The trees like a fortress for the natural 
World.What if I could not take my 
Children for a walk in the woods.