Archive for July, 2013


KLPW  has previously brought the Virginia Uranium mining issue to KLPW members and was sent this first seen media report on a new research report authorized by the Roanoke River Basin Association (RRBA). RRBA has sent a full copy of the 25-page report and KLPW will be glad to send you your copy via email.  Just send a request to or you may visit



The Roanoke River Basin Association released the final report of Paul Robinson — a 26-page report that reiterates the concerns of the preliminary report the group issued in June.

Robinson, the research director of the Southwest Research and Information Center, reviewed records of the Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy for the report, prepared for the RRBA. He says there is a lack of sufficient public and governmental oversight of uranium exploration in Virginia.

The report alleges that Virginia is flying blind on uranium exploration, that the few requirements in place have not been enforced, and that VUI has failed to comply with what little is required.

In a release, RRBA President Gene Addesso said the study raises troubling questions.

“ This leads us to question how DMME could be expected to take on the regulatory responsibility of large scale uranium mining on thousands of acres in the headwaters of the Banister River,” he said.

Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a 119-million-pound uranium ore deposit six miles from Chatham. The company has been pressing the state to lift the 1983 moratorium on uranium mining, but in 2007, it received a permit to drill 40 exploratory holes on the Coles Hill property.

In June, Virginia Uranium issued a rebuttal to Robinson’s initial report.

“ Virginia Uranium, Inc. is in full compliance with the requirements of our permit, which we have held since 2007,” the company stated in its release. “The company has never received a single notice of violation or citation from the DMME related to inadequate of insufficient information or documentation associated with our permit nor have we ever received a health and safety or environmental violation or citation for activities at our site.”

But Monday’s report reiterates claims that Virginia was flying blind when it authorized Virginia Uranium to do test borings in 2007.

Those test borings were used by the company to help further define the ore body at Coles Hills and make measurements of the amount and quality of the ore underneath the pastoral farmland.

Robinson’s report says the DMME has failed to create rules and regulations for uranium exploration as required in Virginia law.

“ The statute does not appear to allow permitting of uranium exploration without such rules and regulations being in place,” Robinson wrote. “If that is the case, DMME issuance of VUI’s permit was contrary to law the permit should be revoked.”

The Southwest Research and Information Center works with community groups to provide technical assistance on environmental and resource development issues. One of its facets is a uranium assessment program.

Mary Beth Jackson reports for the Danville Register & Bee.

Posted in: KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - Uranium Mining Upstream from Kerr Lake

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Campers Respect Our Parks, Other Campers & Control Your Children

by Larry Matthews

(Editor’s Note:  We welcome what amounts to Letters to the Editor type information.  We feel good opinions become good advice that may become policy, referring to our Kerr Lake park interest.  Feel free to write.  Larry Matthews is an avid, life-long camper at Kerr Lake, mostly at Hibernia.  Matthews is also a charter member of Kerr Lake Park Watch.)

While camping last week I did see that some of the issues mentioned in the posting KLPW Issues Improvements List for NC Kerr Lake Recreation Areas” had been addressed.  It’s great to see that our voices are being heard by Park management, so let’s keep the comments (positive & constructively negative) coming!

With that said, I have to be fair to the Parks by calling out some of my fellow campers.  I’ve been camping for 35+ years and know that the vast majority of us campers are considerate and thoughtful people who treat the parks as if they were our own property…in a way they are ours.  But, there is a small group of people who are inconsiderate of fellow campers, seemingly feel the parks are theirs to destroy and/or allow children to run rampant.  As tax payers and park users, we should consider the parks to be “our property” (just like our tents, RVs or boats), take care of them, and call out/report anyone who is not respecting the property and/or facilities.

Here’s my list of issues, which I personally saw last week, that campers should take ownership of:
1. Manage your children (Unsupervised kids do what kids do, mine did until I caught them.)
    a. throwing full rolls of toilet paper in the toilets
    b. wet toilet paper wads stuck to walls and ceiling
    c. tearing toilet paper holders from the walls
    d. carving names/phrases in picnic tables (you wouldn’t carve on your own table)
2. Throwing trash from cars/RVs in the park
3. Cigarettes (sorry smokers, I’m not picking on you)
    a. please don’t throw butts out the car/RV window in the park
    b. please don’t litter the campsite with butts (pick up your butts, the park employees and/or next campers should not have to pick your butts up)
    c. please don’t smoke in the bath houses
4. Make sure the toilet flushes…come on, the newer bath house toilets have so much force they can flush a VW and seldom will they not get rid of what you put in them.  So, turn around and make sure the flush was successful.
5. Don’t chop into a healthy tree with your hatchet for no reason
6. Manage your dogs. (Does your dog bark endlessly when you go out on the boat?)
7. Rules say no alcohol…if you must, put it in a cup or koozie and don’t make the ranger a bad guy by putting him in the position to have to make you poor it out.
8. Most people camp to be in the dark…turn off all the bright outside lights at bed time. (Those homemade PVC lamp posts with your name on them are so neat, but not when I go to bed and they make the inside of my camper look like I’m parked in the Walmart parking lot.)
9. We want rangers to be friendly.  Let’s show them how.  Invite a ranger to your campfire. (Example: We have 2 fairly new rangers at Hibernia who need to be shown that we campers are good people who don’t just litter their parks, destroy their bathhouses and/or complain about them all the time to “Raleigh”.  Stop them as they drive by and introduce yourself.  Let’s show them how to be friendly by being and example.)
9. When was the last time you thanked a park employee for doing a good job?  How would you like to clean up behind some of our fellow campers?

Please folks, don’t think that I feel I’m the perfect camper.  I catch myself sometimes doing things I should not be doing in the campground too.  I hope this provoked us all to think about how we treat our parks, park employees and fellow campers.  Like most of you reading this, Kerr Lake has been a big part of my family’s life. Let’s all work to maintain the parks and maintain a positive camping experience for everyone.

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NC State Parks officials from Raleigh today began drawing plans for campsite upgrades for seven (7) waterfront and water view existing sites at Hibernia State Recreation Area.  District Superintendent Dave Cook and the state parks landscape architect, Nigel Clark met with Kerr Lake Superintendent Bryce Fleming, Kerr Lake Maintenance Chief Chris Curl and Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Frank Timberlake to consider upgrade options.

Though water and electric, many Kerr Lake SRA sites are still rough and unimproved.  For several years and especially this year, betterment of sites by leveling and defining the sites with borders has been a top priority of Kerr Lake Park Watch. It was recently at the top of a list delivered to state parks officials in the form of a priority improvements list.

“I see the leadership making an effort from the top down to better understand that regular campers want to see improvements and investments made in their parks here on Kerr Lake before acquiring more parks and land here and there around the state,” said KLPW’s Public Affairs head Frank Timberlake who met earlier with state park administrators and who was at Hibernia today for today’s planning and measurement efforts. 

“The leadership in Raleigh and here on Kerr Lake has responded. I noticed when I launched a boat Sunday that the boat launch access road has been patched and widened some with gravel, nonetheless improved and we like that, “commented Timberlake.

Defining sites with timbers and bringing sites closer to level is extremely beneficial to RV campers and is also beneficial to the land resource as campers tend to stay in boundary-marked areas more.  The sites at Hibernia slated for upgrade are in Area 2 and include sites 93 to 99 which do not flood as much as some of the lower elevation waterfront sites.

“After the initial drawings are made and approvals given, we hope to complete the work on these sites after the season, hopefully late fall,” commented Cook.  KLPW maintains that the more electric and water sites there are that are defined and fairly level, the more revenue Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas will take in.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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In a storm series that lasted almost all night long last night at Hibernia and other parks on Kerr Lake, an indirect lightning jolt knocked down three campers on one of Hibernia’s lake side camping areas.

Emergency and fire crews showed up at the park shortly before 11:00 PM on Sunday night.  One person was taken to an area hospital and treated and released.

The persons knocked down were actually several campsites away from a tall tree which was struck in its top.  The strike knocked off bark and strips of wood and showered several vehicles, campers and boats.

Other than slight injuries, there was only minor damage with some campers losing power, some breakers and fuses.

Satterwhite Point was hit earlier with strong storms that damaged a camper and other facilities there.

Kerr Lake Park Watch recently carried a lightning warning story on its Facebook page (June 25th post) that pointed that of the top four most dangerous places to be in a lightning storm:

1) Fishing
2) Camping
3) Boating
4) Soccer

The campers knocked down by lightning were outside at the time of the storm.  Campers directly under the tree that was struck had just gone into their camper when the strike occurred.

Posted in: KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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NC State Parks officials from Raleigh will be at some of the Kerr Lake State Recreation areas next week to begin a plan on improvements. Those improvements are from a list KLPW put together recently. Among the first parks visited will be Hibernia where they will look at improving some existing campsites.

One or more Kerr Lake Park Watch leaders will meet with those State Parks officials to get an update on improvements and to discuss campsite improvements and updates the Division of State Parks & Recreation is considering to some Kerr Lake sites.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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