Scenic Area FAQs

What is a National Scenic Area? A National Scenic Area (NSA) is established by Congress to protect the scenic, cultural, historic, recreational and natural resources in specific areas, while allowing compatible uses. The management policies for the area are set forth in the legislation designating the specific NSA.

What NSAs are being recommended in the Friends proposal? The proposal calls for two new NSAs in the George Washington National Forest. The Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area would be a 90,000-acre scenic area located in Augusta, Rockingham, and Highland Counties.  Kelley Mountain - Big Levels,  located in Augusta County, would be the other NSA.
Are there other NSAs in Virginia? Yes. In 1994, Congress established the 7,580-acre Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area. Located in Amherst County, the Mount Pleasant NSA contains some of Virginia’s most popular hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail. Mount Pleasant is also a popular destination for camping, hunting and fishing.
Are hunting and fishing permitted in the NSAs? Yes, hunting and fishing are permitted in the NSAs and wilderness areas being proposed.
What other recreational opportunities exist in the proposed NSAs? In addition to hunting and fishing, a variety of recreational activities can occur in the proposed NSAs including hiking, horseback riding, camping, mountain biking and scenic driving.