Park donor dies

Longtime Crozet school teacher Patricia Ann Byrom, who, with her husband, Robert, donated what will be Albemarle's largest park, died June 29 at age 77. The 600-acre Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve on Route 810 in the northernmost part of the county is under construction and scheduled to open this fall.

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@TreeLover: Thanks for posting the link; that's nice work, and I'll definitely read it.

But apparently the issue with the dam is that it is at risk of failure, whether or not it's the best source of additional water.

How much will it cost to keep open?

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another park? how many does albemarle county need?

Why don't they just stop the new dam at Ragged Mt., that I learned, at the Sierra Club Meeting last night, will clear cut 193 acres of parkland in an area designated biologically significant by Albemarle County . Why would they kill over 60,000 mature trees at the Ragged Mt. Natural Area that is already an existing park ?

Ragged Mt. Natural Area has been cited for its exceptional wildlife habitat by a Smithsonian study and Albemarle County Biodiversity Committee
In the summer of 2002, Dr. Matthew Etterson of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center conducted a research project on the effects of forest fragmentation on nesting success of Wood Thrush at several sites in the Piedmont, including Fernbrook, Humpback Rocks, Betsy Bell, Fortune's Cove, Natural Chimneys, Paul State Forest and Ragged Mountain Natural Area. He found that among all these sites, Ragged Mountain Natural Area proved to be not only the most productive, with a total of 64 nests, but also the site of greatest nesting success. Etterson attributed that success to the maturity of the forest and the protective topography of the land.
In the 2006 Albemarle County Biodiversity Report, the Ragged Mountains and Reservoir were cited as significant for unusual habitat that support species scarce in our area such as River Otter, Prothontary Warbler, and Wood Frog.

A) RIP Patricia - and thank you.

B) Dredge - don't clear, pipe, and pump.

C) Why didn't they take all those down trees and limbs at UVA and throw them into the fire at the heat plant? Can the scrubbers not handle wood smoke?

If you are curious about all the misinformation about the Ragged Mt. dam plan BD, I suggest you visit the website of the group that has carefully researched this: one item being the false perception that the dam is at risk of failure. There is a lengthy report form 2004 showing that the Ragged Mt. dam spillway can be repaired, and the dam safety dept. of the state has no problem with the dam itself, only the spillway. The city has commissioned a study to update the cost of repairing the spillway and investigating if there are any other safety issues needing repair.

Visit this website for all the reasons why we don't need to destroy this park and build a new dam and pipeline at Ragged Mt. I am in favor of parks, but don't see the logic of destroying this one if there is no justification and far better alternatives for our water supply.

The spillway @ Ragged Mountain is a red herring. Tom Frederick and his cohorts make it sound like the dam will fail any minute. The spillway is the area slightly lower than the crest of the dam where water will, if the pool level of the reservoir is raised significantly above its "working" level, flow rather than over the top of the dam itself, as that might undermine the structure. Its currently rip-rap, I think, rather than concrete, which would be better. Its been gravel or rip-rap probably since it was built about a hundred years ago. Given enough flow of water over the spillway, the current aggregate could wash out, potentially causing dangerous erosion.
How is it, you ask, that we've managed to live with this imminent danger in our midst for a hundred years? Because Ragged Mt has no watershed. Literally. Its like 1 sq. mile. Water level in the reservoir is controlled and maintained by the gravity-fed flow of water from Sugar Hollow. So for the Ragged Mt. spillway to suffer, you'd have to either have a once-in-a-hundred-year rain like Hurricane Camille in exactly the right spot, or the fools at RWSA would have to leave the pipeline from Sugar Hollow flowing past Ragged Mt's ability to store water (its only an 18" pipeline, so that wouldnt even do it)

I wonder what Emily Hall Tremaine would think of killing 60,000 trees ? thanks for the link treelover

" With financial help from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and with the hard work of hundreds of volunteers, Ragged Mountain Natural Area was opened to the public in March, 1999."

Yep you're right. Scotch the reservoir works. Everybody go back where you came from and live there, drink the water there.

Thank you Mr & Mrs Byrom for your gracious gift!!

Save a park " scotch the reservoir " dredge instead. Works for me and isn't this new park in the area where Nick Evans has written a report about millions of gallons of available ground water that could be sustainably used for water supply without any environmental damage. Maybe we're looking for water supply in the wrong park ?

• Full report:

• Summary: