Letter: Natalie Pien, Leesburg

Editor: The Hands Across the Appalachian Trail annual event will take place on Sept. 22 and 23 across the commonwealth, including locally in western Loudoun County.

We are joining hands to protect our land, our water, our communities and the iconic Appalachian Trail from the unnecessary and unwanted onslaught of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, ACP, and the Mountain Valley Pipeline, MVP. These pipelines cross the A.T. at very scenic locations in Nelson County and Giles County, Virginia. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s vision is to “connect the human spirit with nature—preserving the delicate majesty of the Trail as a haven for all to enjoy.”

This ethereal vision is profoundly threatened by both the ACP and MVP.

Clear cutting a 125-foot corridor across the Appalachian Trail will simply destroy scenic vistas and majestic landscapes that are meant for everyone to enjoy. The Mountain Valley Pipeline corridor will be observed from as far away as 40 miles. The scenic views and tranquility provided by the AT will be marred permanently by pipelines that we do not need.

Hands Across the Appalachian Trail is our community response to protect valued natural parks and the environment. We come together to celebrate: our treasured natural resources; and our victories won by the hard work of dedicated volunteers and legal advocates. We build fellowship and momentum to stand against unnatural gas fossil fuel projects. We fight for a safe, sustainable future that all can enjoy! We learn about recent victories as well as defeats from outstanding speakers. We enjoy great food, music, and scenery as we fight to stop these pipelines once and for all!

Trails are how we discover the outdoors—and our greatest trails, known throughout the world, are the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. This year is special as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the designation of our nation’s first two National Scenic Trails: the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Join hands with Virginians to celebrate these treasures and ensure they will be preserved for years to come!

Join us on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bear’s Den Center, 18393 Blueridge Mountain Road in Bluemont.

Natalie Pien, Leesburg

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