Friday, August 21, 2009

My Letter to Orange County

Most of this letter was composed by CWPT (I added the fifth paragraph). Visit to send your own letter to the supervisors of Orange County, VA, and to Walmart CEO Michael Duke as well. Get involved. Here's the letter:

Aug 21, 2009

Supervisor _________

Dear Supervisor _____________,

I oppose the construction of a Walmart Supercenter at the proposed location in Orange County. The site Walmart proposed is within the historic limits of the battlefield and across the road from the National Park. In addition, a Walmart Supercenter at this location will increase development pressures on the nearby National Park and wreak havoc on traffic in the region.

Today, just 21 percent of the Wilderness Battlefield is protected from development. This Walmart Supercenter would be built within one-quarter mile of the National Park and would pave the way for desecration of the Wilderness with unnecessary commercial growth. Such a large-scale development is inappropriate next to a National Park.

I am not opposed to a Walmart in Orange County, but I am opposed to building a Walmart on the Wilderness Battlefield. Please take the time to find another site in Orange County for the Walmart that will not have a negative impact on the battlefield.

The Wilderness Battlefield is the most visited tourist attraction in Orange County. I think it would be very shortsighted to sacrifice such hallowed ground and the valuable tourist dollars it provides for the sake of building a Walmart at this exact location, especially when other suitable locations exist in the county.

I understand the economic considerations that may carry equal or greater weight in your decision process. I hope you understand the importance of the battlefield to thousands of enthusiasts like myself who travel to Virginia each year. Is there no way to protect the battlefield and achieve the goal economic development at the same time? I hope you will find a way to balance these concerns. This is not a decision you can take back. Once development impacts a battlefield, there is no turning back. Please consider carefully, as your decision on this impacts not only your current constituents, but future generations. I hope you will take the long view. Protect the battlefield, and locate the Walmart in a more suitable location.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to consider alternate locations for this Supercenter. Walmarts can be built just about anywhere, but we cannot move the hallowed ground where America's vital history happened. In this instance, the preservation of the Wilderness Battlefield, a part of the shared history of every American, must trump Walmart's desire to locate a store at this site.


Mr. Steven Mynes

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