The Piedmont View

View articles published in our quarterly membership newsletter, The Piedmont View. To become a PEC member or renew your existing membership, visit our donations page today!

To access PDFs of prior editions, view the Piedmont View archive.

Walmart Picks Alternative Site for Orange Store

In late May, Walmart announced that it has chosen an alternative site for its store in Orange County -- a successful outcome for preservationists who, for years, pressed Walmart to build its store at a location that would not negatively impact Wilderness Battlefield ...
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Taxpayer’s Dollars, Developers’ Dream Road

This May - without any technical justification, without public input and without a recommendation from VDOT -- an unelected body, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), approved a potential north-south highway between Leesburg and I-95 as a Corridor of Statewide Significance. This action brings back a long-cherished dream road for developers - a vast Outer Beltway around Northern Virgina that has ...
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Going Wild

At lunch during PEC’s Wildlife Friendly Habitats and Gardens Tour in Clarke County, the group was joined by a barn owl, a screech owl, and a red tailed hawk. The sharp-beaked raptors sent smaller birds darting in agitation among the nearby trees, even though they were perched on the hands of their human keepers. The three raptors—called Lamont, Fiona and ...
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Radioactive Rivers

Beneath the rolling landscapes of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and Orange are deposits of the radioactive mineral uranium -- potential mine sites. In the 1980s, companies filed mining leases on thousands of acres of land in these counties, as well as in southwest Virginia, with an interest in extracting the uranium, which can be processed into nuclear fuel. Because uranium mining ...
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Scenic Byway Bridge–Wider, Faster, Straighter?

When Rap Owings and his family learned about VDOT's plan for the bridge near their farm in Banco, on Route 231 west of Madison, they were concerned. VDOT was planning to take out the existing bridge and rebuild it nearly twice as wide. Plus, they were going to straighten the road for two thirds of a mile, widen the right ...
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A Walk Through Bird and Butterfly Paradise

Fifteen years ago, Bruce Jones’ research led him to the discovery that, in his words, “Native plants are the basic building blocks for the whole ecology of our area.” So, he and his wife Susan began the epic project of replacing invasive plants with native plants on about 87 acres of their property, now known as the Jones Nature Preserve ...
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Building Fences for Cleaner Streams

Farmers are using a unique incentive program coordinated by PEC to substantially expand water quality protections in our region. The program helps cover their costs for fencing livestock out of streams ...
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A Wasteful Bypass and a Better Plan

VDOT gave plans for the Charlottesville Western Bypass an F. So why spend half a billion dollars on it?That's the question that PEC posed to Charlottesville and Albemarle residents though ads in local papers and a mailing that we sent to 15,000 homes -- part of our full-on campaign to stop this wasteful bypass from moving forward ahead of better ...
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