Many of you have probably checked the new this morning, as I did, to find the Orange County supervisors approved the Walmart near the Wilderness Battlefield by a margin of 4-1. In the interest of diplomacy, let's just say I am disappointed.
The following excerpt is from a letter by Jim Lighthizer, president of CWPT:
“Today’s vote is not just a setback for preservationists. Orange County residents are losers as well. If the county had embraced the preservation planning process first proposed by the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition in January, there would have been an opportunity to mitigate the transportation and development impacts of the proposal. Instead, the board voted to repeat the mistakes made by other localities, who are now struggling to address the problems created by similar piecemeal development and rampant sprawl.
“The ball is now in Wal-Mart’s court. Wal-Mart better understands the nationwide anger generated by its proposal to build on the doorstep of a National Park. It is in the corporation’s best interests to work with the preservation community to find an alternative site. After all, building a big box superstore on the Wilderness Battlefield would belie recent attempts to portray Wal-Mart as environmentally sensitive. We are optimistic that company officials will see the wisdom of moving elsewhere.
“The Civil War Preservation Trust and the other member groups of the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition will now carefully weigh options for continued opposition of this misguided proposal. This battle is not over yet.”
You can find the full text of it here.
While I believe in private property rights, I also believe we have the right to act to protect resources of national significance from local parties not otherwise inclined to do so. Please support CWPT in their efforts to encourage Walmart to build in a less historically sensitive location.
6 hours ago