Balcony Falls
Takeout Project

From: Bill Tanger
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2017 11:26 AM
Subject: Balcony Falls update

FORVA board, steercom and friends:

Attached is a very recent letter from DCR that frees Dominion up to work directly with us.

Documents\Balcony_Falls _access-DCR.pdf

This is good news for prospects for working on a better access below Balcony.

It has only taken about 10 years to get this part of the puzzle put in place…

Now on to the next phase…

----------- Bill

Friends of the Rivers of Virginia ((FORVA) has been following the Cushaw Dam Relicensing Project for some time now, although we have been unable to attend any meetings due to the fact that we are all citizen volunteers and therefore must work during those times scheduled for meetings.

FORVA represents dozens of groups of river users in Virginia. Many of them are boater organizations or include boaters in their groups. We have for years heard from many of them about the negative impacts of the Cushaw Dam on boating related use of the river. One of the biggest problems is the lack of an adequate take-out below the whitewater section of the James we call Balcony Falls.

Balcony Falls
Takeout Project News

FERC Environmental Assessment (EA):

FERC completed its EA on the Balcony Falls Takeout Project in late August.

FORVA, the FFV and Coastals filed joint comments on October 11, pointing out major errors with the EA and criticizing its conclusions on recreation.

DCR also filed comments critical of the recreation section of the EA.

The EA essentially dismissed any need for mitigation regarding recreation whatsoever, denying any relationship between the dam and whitewater boating.  Quite bizarre.

Dominion Power:

To its credit, Dominion has said it will disregard FERC EA recommendations on recreation and stand by its commitment to contribute $165,000 to whitewater recreation access.  Thank you Jim Thornton and Dominion.

Virginia Agencies:

Meanwhile, DCR met with DRPT (Department of Rail and Public Transportation) in October and has agreed to another meeting with DRPT soon to discuss railroad access.  DRPT has also agreed to release a draft of a study done on railroad access and liability issues, but we have no timetable yet.  Stay tuned.

CSX, the railroad:

Still stonewalling.  Still not communicating.  Still don’t get it.  CSX has indicated it still is not going to cooperate in allowing an at-grade crossing anywhere.

Support Grows:

Our newest letter of support for the project comes from Trout Unlimited – Roanoke Chapter.  We now have 42 letters of support from around the area.

Access Location Photos:

We need to shoot photos of the informal access points, like Iron Man, Matts Creek I, Matts Creek II and Snowden.  If anyone has a good digital camera and can do this please let me know.

Click on maps to enlarge

How to Help:

Contact Bill Tanger:

Email address:
Home: 540-366-2228.

We would like to get Trout Unlimited of Virginia to do a letter of support.
Anyone want to help get that done?

Update: 12-05-2006

Update: 10-27-2006

Update: 4-20-2006

Meeting Notes: 3-28-2006

Balcony Falls
Takeout Project
Support List

October 18, 2007

  • Amherst County

  • Appomattox River Company

  • Back Country Ski and Sports

  • Bedford County

  • Big Island Sportsman’s Club

  • Blue Ridge Outdoors

  • Blue Ridge River Runners

  • Campbell County

  • Coastal Canoeists

  • Del. Watkins Abbitt

  • Del. Preston Bryant

  • Del. Ben Cline

  • Del. William Fralin

  • Del. Morgan Griffith

  • Del. Albert Pollard

  • Del. Lacey Putney

  • Del. Jim Shuler

  • Del. Onzlee Ware

  • DCR (Dept. of Conservation and Recreation)

  • DGIF (Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries) 

  • Float Fishermen of Virginia

  • Franklin County

  • Friends of the Appomattox River

  • FORVA (Friends of the Rivers of Virginia)

  • Glasgow, Town of

  • Bruce Ingram, Outdoor Writer/Photographer

  • James River Association

  • James River Canoe Livery

  • Lynchburg City

  • Outdoor Trails Outfitters

  • Roanoke County

  • Rockbridge County

  • Sen. Brandon Bell

  • Sen. Creigh Deeds

  • Sen. John Edwards

  • Sen. Emmett Hanger

  • Sen. Charles Hawkins

  • Sen. Steve Newman

  • Sen. Roscoe Reynolds

  • Sen. Frank Ruff

  • Tangent Outfitters

  • Trout Unlimited – Roanoke Chapter

 Total:  42 letters of support