Wilderness Gateway Study Earns Praise From Members of Battlefield Coalition

Among the numerous entities that have endorsed the process and findings of the Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study are: the Civil War Trust, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, National Parks Conservation Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Piedmont Environmental Council. 

 Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer

“The Gateway Study’s approach encourages holistic thinking on complex issues, enabling residents to make informed decisions based on how projects will unfold and impact each other in both the short and long terms.  I am confident that this investigation into the interplay between heritage tourism and local quality of life will pay dividends in communities across the nation.” 

 Friends of Wilderness Battlefield president Zann Nelson:

“This study was born out of our longstanding vision that Orange County’s combination of scenic beauty, historic connections and strong sense of identity combine to make a one-of-a-kind community. These unique attributes have informed our past and, if embraced, can continue to shape our future in profound ways.”

 National Parks Conservation Association president Tom Kiernan

“America’s national parks continue to face environmental and developmental threats.  The Wilderness Gateway Study shows that by working together, we can protect our historic landscapes while supporting positive economic growth in Orange County. National parks are economic drivers for local communities and visitors spent nearly $45 million at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Virginia last year.  As we approach the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, we have a responsibility to ensure that the places that tell our American story are preserved and protected for future generations.”

 National Trust for Historic Preservation president Stephanie Meeks

“Communities located near our nation’s parks have a unique sense of place that is important to both residents and park visitors. This study demonstrates how thoughtful planning and collaboration can encourage appropriate development in gateway communities throughout the country. It is also a reminder that by working together, residents, developers, preservationists and other stakeholders can find solutions that welcome sustainable economic growth while respecting important historic resources.”

 Piedmont Environmental Council Orange County field officer Dan Holmes

“Balancing preservation and development is always a challenge. The study presents a vision for future development that enhances the characteristics that make Orange a desirable place to live and work — the historic resources and rural scenic nature. This study provides the elected officials with the necessary tools and insight to accomplish that vision without compromising the proven economic engine of heritage tourism.”


 The full text of the Wilderness Gateway Study is available online at www.wildernessgateway.org.



The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. PreservationNation.org, @SavingPlaces