February 14, 2018

The Knob Fundraising Goal Met

MOUNT JACKSON, Va. – This past October, Shenandoah Forum joined The Conservation Fund and the Town of Mount Jackson to launch the Save The Knob campaign to raise $50,000 to protect one of the Shenandoah Valley’s signature sights.

Thanks to the overwhelming support of the community and generosity of the town, we are pleased to announce that as of February 13, 2018, we have met our goal! The rocky-top at the southern end of Short Mountain will continue as a reminder of our beautiful natural heritage for generations to come.

In addition to the generous contribution of $25,000 by the Town of Mount Jackson, the community contributed a total of $25,035 to the effort.  This funding will help The Conservation Fund, a national non-profit organization based in Arlington, purchase the property from its current private owner and transfer it to the George Washington National Forest in the future.

In an act of leadership, the Mount Jackson Town Council on October 10th approved $15,000 in funding to help the acquisition, and then pledged to match donations from the Valley community up to another $10,000, closing the funding gap even further.  “There are many great things I can look around town and be proud of, and I am happy to announce yet one more,” said J.G. “Bucky” Miller, the mayor of the Town of Mount Jackson.  “When I look off to the east and see beautiful Short Mountain and its outcrop of rocks known simply as the Knob I will always remember when WE preserved it as a town and as a valley.  The Town of Mount Jackson by its generosity has preserved our beautiful backdrop for everyone who lives in or visits this great area.”

“We greatly appreciate the efforts and foresight of the Town of Mount Jackson in working with us to preserve this land which so important to the community,” said Heather Richards, senior representative of The Conservation Fund. “Purchasing this property will not only permanently protect land critical to the water supply for the Town of Mount Jackson and but increase recreational opportunities in the National Forest. We still have work to do to transfer the site to U.S. Forest Service with support from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, but today marks a tremendous milestone and should be celebrated.”

In addition to the Town and The Conservation Fund, Shenandoah Forum, a local conservation organization, joined the charge to protect this local gem in a nationally significant landscape. “Support from the community has been fantastic! Our efforts to raise awareness about this effort within the community have been enthusiastically received. The Knob is not only an important landmark for our community with lots of local connection but it a critical natural resource and the Forum is glad we could be part of the effort to see it is preserved,” said Kim Woodwell, executive director of the Shenandoah Forum.

During The Conservation Fund’s temporary ownership, the property will be managed to maintain the scenic beauty of this local landmark and protect the unique natural communities that exist on the property.  The Fund will work with the George Washington National Forest staff to transfer the land to public ownership, if federal funding is provided through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  LWCF is a bipartisan program that uses a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties—not taxpayer dollars.  LWCF is annually funded by the U.S. Congress, including Virginia’s U.S. delegation that represents The Knob: U.S. Senator Mark Warner, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, and U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte.   

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect nearly 8 million acres of land, including more than 65,000 acres in Virginia. 

About Shenandoah Forum
Shenandoah Forum, founded in 2001, is a citizen’s group working in Shenandoah County to promote community development that ensures our county’s rural, agricultural character. The Forum encourages active and informed participation from Shenandoah County residents on issues important to our community, emphasizing the county’s rural, agricultural and historic character, supporting a healthy environment, promoting a sustainable economy, and providing a high quality of life for the people who live here. www.shenandoahforum.org
Heather Richards | The Conservation Fund | 703-203-0060 | hrichards@conservationfund.org
Kim Woodwell | Shenandoah Forum | 540-984-7003 | kbwoodwell@shenandoahforum.org