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Dignann
05-29-2008, 07:37 AM
A recent vote by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors will affect the preserved battlefield, while destroying some of the unprotected battlefield. 639 acres adjacent to what has been preserved will be stripped and quarried. Sixty percent of that acreage is within the core battlefield area, according to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report.


Board backs quarry’s plan for expansion

By Robert Igoe

The Winchester Star [Winchester, Va.]
May 29, 2008

Winchester — Cheers and tears filled the Frederick County Office Complex on Wednesday as county officials gave their blessing to the expansion of a local quarry.

In a 4-3 vote, the Board of Supervisors approved a request from O-N Minerals Chemstone to rezone 394 acres to the north and south of its Middletown quarry from Rural Areas to Extractive Manufacturing.

The new zoning will allow the company to mine high-grade limestone from property that it owns.

The vote came 30 days after an emotional public hearing that featured nearly 60 residents offering views about the request.

Following the lengthy hearing, the supervisors voted to table a decision on the request so Chemstone could make changes in its proffer statements to better address traffic, environmental, and quality-of-life issues.

Wednesday’s meeting was just as packed as last month’s session. Though no public hearing was held, several residents used the public comment period to address the rezoning issue.

"I resent the fact that you are telling us that we will enjoy being 1,200 feet from a quarry," said Gary Nichols. "What if you’re wrong? I don’t want the burden placed on us. It should be placed on the applicant to prove this is the right thing to do. If they cannot do that, this should not be rezoned."

The opposition came chiefly from organizations such as Preserve Frederick, Belle Grove Inc., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which fear the expansion will threaten nearby historic properties such as the Cedar Creek Civil War battlefield and the Belle Grove Plantation, both south of Middletown.

On the other side of the issue were Chemstone’s employees and partner vendors, who said the rezoning was needed to preserve the 28 jobs at the quarry. They also argued that the expansion would not have negative effects on the community.

"I think this is a good and prudent use of land," said Dave Kollar, president and founder of DK Industrial Services Corp. "Chemstone will be a good neighbor. One thing that we do not need is more housing developments that will put an even greater burden on our roads, schools, and services. And what else can that property be used for?"

During a presentation to the supervisors, Chemstone attorney Todd Lawson and General Manager Spencer Stinson said that in response to issues raised by the county’s legal advisers and Planning Department, the company agreed to reduce the rezoning area from 639 acres to 394 acres, eliminating 245 acres along the perimeter of the property.

The company also addressed concerns over traffic impacts by agreeing to a limit of 86 truck trips per day, with an allowance for up to 200 trucks in emergency cases — which Lawson said would equate to unforeseen circumstances such as an inability to get stone taken from the quarry by rail.

"If we’re resorting to these many trucks, that would be an economic hardship for us," he said.

Stinson said the company’s trucks must follow a specific route to avoid causing traffic problems in Middletown, and that drivers who violate the route would be barred from the facility.

Lawson also said mining in the rezoned areas north of the quarry and south of Chapel Road would begin no earlier than 10 years from now, and the remainder of the property would be mined no sooner than 20 years from now.

The motion to approve the request was made by Supervisor Gary Lofton, who said he spent the previous 30 days reviewing comments made at the public hearing and doing his own research into the rezoning’s potential effects on the community.

"I looked at other quarries and talked to people who live around them," he said. "The majority of the people I spoke to did not have issues with trucks, noise, or dust. And, in my studies, I found no decrease in property values related to a quarry."

Voting in favor with Lofton were Chairman Richard C. Shickle Sr., Gene E. Fisher, and Gary W. Dove. Supervisors Philip Lemieux, Charles S. DeHaven Jr., and Bill M. Ewing voted against the request.

Lofton also expressed his disappointment that many opposition groups did not take advantage of opportunities to talke directly with Chemstone about their concerns.

"Some of these issues [the groups] have were not addressed," he said. "But that’s not because the quarry did not want to listen to them, but because these groups did not want to talk to the quarry face-to-face, and that disappointed me."

Preserve Frederick President Wendy Hamilton issued a statement reflecting her disappointment in the decision.

"This defeat for the preservation stakeholders and the local community doesn’t just affect Middletown and southern Frederick County," she said. "It is a loss of irreplaceable Civil War history for the nation."

http://www.winchesterstar.com/article_details.php?ArticleID=7023


Eric

No_Know_Nothings
05-29-2008, 07:21 PM
"I looked at other quarries and talked to people who live around them," he said. "The majority of the people I spoke to did not have issues with trucks, noise, or dust. And, in my studies, I found no decrease in property values related to a quarry."

I don't beleive a word of this. For the last 10 years I have lived within 1,400 yards of a small cement mixing plant. Although screened by trees I can hear every "beep! beep! beep!" of the trucks backing into the loading area and the thumping and pounding of the bucket lift. I can go out into the backyard right now, reach up to a tree branch and shake the gravel dust off it. And I don't even want to talk about how the property value has declined since that place opened. :(

Preservationists may regret this decision, but the locals who live nearby will one day loathe it.

Dignann
06-18-2008, 09:48 PM
The National Trust for Historic Preservation takes a hard stand. Below is their press release.



Drastic Expansion of Mining Operations Threatens Belle Grove Plantation and Cedar Creek Civil War Battlefield
Blasting, Quarry Truck Traffic, Noise and Multi-Story High Waste Piles Will Alter Historic and Rural Gem of the Shenandoah Valley

Washington, DC – June 18, 2008 – The National Trust for Historic Preservation today reaffirmed its strong opposition to radically expanded mining operations proposed in and around Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove are situated in a rural landscape whose centuries of historical and cultural significance include 18th century Shenandoah Valley settlements, 18th-19th century plantation lands and Civil War battle grounds. The Belgian mining conglomerate Carmeuse Lime & Stone has recently won county approval to move ahead with mining activities, including blasting and increased quarry truck traffic, which could destroy the character of the visitor experience at Belle Grove Plantation, a National Trust Historic Site and National Historic Landmark, and the Cedar Creek Civil War battlefield.

“The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has owned Belle Grove Plantation for 44 years, is dismayed that intrusive mining activities could destroy the character of sites of tremendous national and regional significance,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. ”Preservation of these irreplaceable cultural landscapes and buildings, rich in our nation’s history, is one of the highest priorities of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and we will do everything we can to protect them from irreparable harm.”

Recently, the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, by a vote of 4-3, approved Carmeuse’s destructive proposal despite opposition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Belle Grove Inc., (which manages the plantation site), and a broad coalition of partners and local residents, alarmed that the quarry operations will destroy the tourism industry and their way of life. Experts agree expansion of the quarry will harm Belle Grove, which dates to the late 18th century, and the Cedar Creek battlefield, the region’s most significant Civil War site. Already, multi-story high mounds of mining waste are intruding on the site’s world-class vistas. Each year tens of thousands of visitors come to the area because of its history. Proposed blasting would damage historic structures, bulldozers would destroy acres of core battlefield land adjacent to the National Historical Park, and dust clouds, noise, and increased quarry truck traffic would diminish the visitor’s experience.

The threat is so severe, the Civil War Preservation Trust in 2007 and again in 2008 listed the Cedar Creek battlefield as one of America's most-endangered Civil War battlefields. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove, Inc., longtime stewards of the 18th-19th century plantation and the Cedar Creek Civil War battlefield, fully intend to pursue avenues that will mitigate, reduce and avoid harm to Belle Grove, and the cultural and historic resources within and adjacent to the National Historical Park, but hope that congressional action can halt the mining expansion altogether.

As one signal of their opposition, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove, Inc. are suspending any involvement with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and prohibiting their use of Belle Grove for their annual Civil War re-enactment. Although the two non-profits recognize the value of Civil War commemorative activities, including re-enactments, as dynamic educational and tourism programming, they are suspending their relationship with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation because of the Foundation’s sudden reversal on the mining issue. On April 17, the president and executive director of the Foundation assured the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove of their opposition to quarry owner Carmeuse’s mining proposals. Yet on April 23, without notifying the National Trust for Historic Preservation or Belle Grove, the foundation publicly testified before the Frederick County Board of Supervisors they “took no exception” to the quarry expansion, essentially approving the proposal. On the same day, the Foundation struck a deal to accept a gift of 8 acres of land from the quarry owner. The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation's conduct has undermined generations of work to protect the historic plantation and battlefield and has strained the public - private partnership that was established by Congress in 2002 to plan the future management of the National Historical Park.

"We certainly respect the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation's past contributions to the stewardship of the battlefield. But we cannot silently and passively overlook the Foundation’s recent actions, which were taken unilaterally and without the prior knowledge of its partners in the overall preservation effort,” said Anne Buettner, president of Belle Grove, Inc.’s Board of Directors. “As a result, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove, Inc. cannot host the Foundation’s October 2008 re-enactment on Belle Grove lands, when they have taken actions that tend to undermine the efforts of their partners and that jeopardize the region's treasured historic sites and Civil War heritage. Belle Grove and the National Trust will, as always, commemorate the anniversary of the 1864 Battle of Belle Grove or Cedar Creek with a weekend of special events, speakers and interpretive programs in the historic Manor House and on its lawns and surrounding fields, hosted separately from any other events."

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, 9 regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories. For more information, visit www.PreservationNation.org (http://www.preservationnation.org/).


Eric

Anders
06-18-2008, 09:53 PM
Something tells me there is more to this story...

dustyswb
06-18-2008, 10:23 PM
It appears that the CCBF has burned some bridges here. Too bad, with the work they've done in the past. As Chris says, there may be more to this than we know. Hope we hear from someone in the know and not just speculation.

OVI
06-19-2008, 12:54 PM
On the face of it..it appears that Cedar Creek made a sweetheart deal with the mining company to reverse its opposition to the mining expansion in return for 8 acres. And it blindsided the National Trust in doing so resulting in retaliation with the suspension of support and loss of the use of Belle Grove.
Bad stuff indeed.

Kent Dorr - Ohio
"Outraged Mess"

Anders
06-19-2008, 12:58 PM
I do not know all the details, but I spoke to Suzanne at CCBF and there is more to the story, and while I did not go into real deep detail, I think this has more to do with the slow burning feud that has been going on for years rather than any recent developments.

I am sure CCBF will put out a statement regarding this.

As a side note, there is some satisfaction in knowing that 8 additional acres have been preserved.

Pards,

Dignann
06-19-2008, 03:31 PM
As a side note, there is some satisfaction in knowing that 8 additional acres have been preserved.

I, too, am curious in hearing the CCBF's side of the story. I must admit, however, 8 acres saved at the loss of 380+ that is within the core battlefield area, and the deterioration of the relationship between the two groups, does not excite me too much. Some land is better than none, but I can't help but feel that a larger compromise might have been possible had the preservation groups stuck together.

Eric

Anders
06-20-2008, 07:37 AM
Eric,

Dunno....hope to see somethig official out from CCBF regarding this...

Pards,

Dignann
06-20-2008, 11:02 AM
Plantation, foundation part ways due to disagreement over quarry

By Eric Beidel

The Winchester Star [Winchester, Va.]
June 19, 2008


Middletown — A longtime preservation partnership has been threatened by a beef over expanded mining operations near the Cedar Creek Battlefield.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove Inc. have announced that they will end any involvement with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation.

The Belle Grove Plantation, located on the battlefield south of Middletown, dates to the 18th century, and its board of directors had allowed the use of its property by the Battlefield Foundation for its annual Civil War re-enactment activities.

Belle Grove will no longer allow the use of its property by the foundation because of the foundation’s position on the quarry expansion, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the National Trust.

"We certainly respect the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation’s past contributions to the stewardship of the battlefield," said Anne Buettner, president of Belle Grove Inc.’s Board of Directors. "But we cannot silently and passively overlook the foundation’s recent actions, which were taken unilaterally and without the prior knowledge of its partners in the overall preservation effort."

The Belgian mining conglomerate Carmeuse Lime and Stone recently won rezoning approval from the Frederick County Board of Supervisors to expand its limestone mining activities at its Chemstone quarry, located near the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park south of Middletown.

Belle Grove Inc. claims that in April, the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation reversed its opposition to the quarry expansion, then cut a deal with the quarry owner to accept a land gift of 8 acres.

"We took no stance" on the quarry expansion issue, said Linden "Butch" Fravel, who serves on the Battlefield Foundation’s board. "There was no communication with Belle Grove on this, that was the problem."

Fravel said his board voted two months ago to not use the plantation’s property for this October’s re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek in an effort to save money.

He said, the foundation had spent about $70,000 over the past five years renting land from Belle Grove for three days each October.

The foundation will still hold re-enactments on its more than 300 acres of battlefield property.

"I’m disappointed," said Mike Kehoe, another member of the foundation’s board.

The gift from the quarry owner "deals with a lot more than 8 acres," he said. "We did what was best to protect the property."

Preservationists have argued that the expanded mining operation would harm views and eat up historical land. Blasting from the mine could damage historical structures, they say.

Buettner said that Cedar Creek Battlefield representatives took actions that "undermine the efforts of their partners and that jeopardize the region’s treasured historic sites."

Belle Grove will continue to use its site to host events commemorating the 1864 battle, but will do so independently of the Battlefield Foundation.

"I’m sorry they took that position," Kehoe said. "We certainly don’t want to alienate ourselves from any of our partners. I guess there’s a lot of fence-mending to do, because there’s still a lot of battlefield to preserve."

A phone message left for the Battlefield Foundation’s executive director, Suzanne Chilson, was not immediately returned on Wednesday night.

http://www.winchesterstar.com/article_details.php?ArticleID=7480


Eric

Pvt Schnapps
06-20-2008, 01:53 PM
I hope some explanation comes out soon. Otherwise CCBF may see a precipitous drop in participation in future reenactments.

Many units have already sent in their registrations for this year's event, at least partially on the assumption that the money would support preservation. But that doesn't rule out some form of protest, even this year.

Dignann
06-21-2008, 09:24 AM
It's starting to get kinda ugly.


Councilman spurs battlefield boycott

By Robert Igoe

The Winchester Star [Winchester, Va.]
June 21, 2008

Middletown — As the celebration of an important local Civil War battle approaches, a civil war of sorts involving historic preservation groups and elected officials continues to escalate.

Middletown Town Councilman Marshall J. "Mark" Brown said he is asking Middletown business owners to boycott the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation’s Oct. 18-19 re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Brown’s call for the boycott stems from an agreement the foundation reach with Chemstone during the company’s efforts to rezone 394 acres to the north and south of its Middletown quarry from Rural Areas to Extractive Manufacturing.

The Frederick County Board of Supervisors approved the request on May 28, despite the Frederick County Planning Commission’s recommendation that the request be turned down in 2006.

Chemstone sought the new zoning to allow the company to mine high-grade limestone from this property.

Several organizations, including the CCBF, were part of an effort to oppose the rezoning out of fears that it would mean increased truck traffic and threaten historical landmarks such as the battlefield and the Belle Grove Plantation.

To address these concerns, the company changed its application and proffer statements to reduce the rezoning area from 639 acres to 394 acres, eliminating 245 acres along the perimeter of the property.

The company also agreed to a general limit of 86 truck trips per day.

But in addition to the proffer changes, the company reached an agreement with the CCBF to provide vegetation on the 30-foot-high berms between the battlefield and the quarry, to turn over an eight-acre tract of property as a historic preserve and to pay for an architect and historian of the CCBF’s choice to examine the company’s property for artifacts and other historical significance.

All artifacts found will be turned over to the CCBF and property deemed of great historic importance could be added to the preserve.

"We’re extremely dissatisfied with the foundation’s actions," he said. "There’s an old story about 30 pieces of silver and I think it applies well here."

Foundation officials say their actions compromised no one’s position, and was vital in protecting the battlefield’s historic resources.

"Sooner or later, we felt that this rezoning would be approved due to the amount of high-grade limestone on this piece of land," said CCBF Executive Director Suzanne Chilson. "We saw (the agreement) as a win-win situation and something that was not against anyone else’s interests."

Chilson said that many of the foundation’s critics do not have all the facts and she is preparing a statement on the agreement that she hopes will resolve their concerns.

In a letter to the Board of Supervisors, Chilson said "the mission of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is to acquire, preserve, and interpret the land upon which the Battle of Cedar Creek was fought, and to collect and preserve documents and artifacts related to the battlefield. In that respect, the concerns of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation were satisfied."

Brown said the boycott is not only because of the agreement, but because the festival has been the source of safety concerns.

"We’ve asked them for many years to offer shuttle buses for the fans and re-enactors," he said. "The festival creates increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic and we’ve asked them in the past to help address this."

Aside from the boycott, two of the groups involved in opposing the rezoning, The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove Inc., announced Thursday they were severing ties with the CCBF over their agreement.

Another CCBF official, Vice President L.A. "Butch" Fravel, declined to comment on Brown’s allegations, saying that "our aim is not to escalate any bad blood," but said that the foundation has no issue with any other organization involved.

http://www.winchesterstar.com/article_details.php?ArticleID=7537


Eric

Rob Weaver
06-21-2008, 12:42 PM
Would I be incorrect as reading this as a long-simmering turf war that has reached a boiling point? Will this really result in the unwieldy and unworkable, let alone ludicrious situation of two battlefield entities, side by side, who won't be cooperating during the single-most popular and populous event sponsored on the grounds? My, my, I'm surprised. It usually takes a church to do something so deliberately suicidal.

tompritchett
06-21-2008, 02:50 PM
Chemstone sought the new zoning to allow the company to mine high-grade limestone from this property.

Several organizations, including the CCBF, were part of an effort to oppose the rezoning out of fears that it would mean increased truck traffic and threaten historical landmarks such as the battlefield and the Belle Grove Plantation.

To address these concerns, the company changed its application and proffer statements to reduce the rezoning area from 639 acres to 394 acres, eliminating 245 acres along the perimeter of the property.

The company also agreed to a general limit of 86 truck trips per day.

But in addition to the proffer changes, the company reached an agreement with the CCBF to provide vegetation on the 30-foot-high berms between the battlefield and the quarry, to turn over an eight-acre tract of property as a historic preserve and to pay for an architect and historian of the CCBF’s choice to examine the company’s property for artifacts and other historical significance.

All artifacts found will be turned over to the CCBF and property deemed of great historic importance could be added to the preserve.

On the face of it, I would say that it looks like Chemstone was negotiating in a good-faith manner and made very reasonable concessions to address many of the concerns raised by opponents. Short of not mining the land at all, which I am sure was the ultimate goal of Belle Grove and the Planning Commission, I am not sure that any additional steps could have been taken by the company. I also agree with CCBF that given Chemstone's concessions, the request would have ultimately been approved, even if it required a court decision for it to occur. Legitmate concerns were raised by all parties and it seems that appropriate concessions were made by Chemstone. IMHO, it may be time for all parties to put all this behind them and move on.

Regular3
06-23-2008, 11:06 AM
Would I be incorrect as reading this as a long-simmering turf war that has reached a boiling point? Will this really result in the unwieldy and unworkable, let alone ludicrious situation of two battlefield entities, side by side, who won't be cooperating during the single-most popular and populous event sponsored on the grounds? My, my, I'm surprised. It usually takes a church to do something so deliberately suicidal.For my part I didn't know that Belle Grove was even connected to the reenactment any more - When we first started doing that event the Federal camp was near the house (as was the case in October 1864) but the last time I recall being in that spot was 1997.

So I don't know what part of the property they're talking about "being used for the reenactment" as the Federal camp now is close to a mile from the estate and we don't get especially close to it even during the dawn attack phase of the battle.

Anders
06-23-2008, 11:19 AM
Humm...

Anyhow, I thin they are talking about the land in front of the house where the CS troops stage at...dunno

All I now if that my favorite part of the CCGF holdings- the part down by panther cave that we fought over in DTV early saturday, is firmly CCBF property.

Anders
06-23-2008, 01:11 PM
All,

Just got this-

June 23, 2008



To Our Reenactor Partners, Sponsors and Supporters:


There has recently been some negative and misleading publicity about the successful efforts of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation to secure a binding agreement from O-N Mineral’s, (Carmeuse) to support preservation efforts and contribute to the shared goals of creating a reserve of property for further preservation efforts. We felt that we owe it to all of our reenactor partners, sponsors, supporters and the public to set the record straight. Contrary to the negative and incomplete information spread by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove, Inc., the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation stood alone and successfully took the initiative to preserve and protect core battlefield land and artifacts.



After twenty years of intense and dedicated preservation efforts on the part of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, (“CCBF”), we are deeply saddened and surprised that any entity would issue a public statement that so inappropriately characterizes the activities and intentions of the CCBF and its members. For this reason, we believe the facts concerning our relationship with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Belle Grove, Inc., (collectively designated “Belle Grove”), and Carmeuse, (the “Quarry”), need be disclosed.



Reenactments

CCBF held its first reenactment in 1990, and since that time has occasionally used additional property from Belle Grove, depending on the number of reenactors attending an event. In 1999, Belle Grove required a payment of $6,000 for the use of a few acres behind the plantation and reserved the right to cancel the agreement at anytime and for any reason. CCBF considered this unacceptable, and for the next several years, the event was held solely on CCBF lands. CCBF rented land from Belle Grove for the 140th Anniversary Reenactment in 2004, and through 2007. In addition to paying all the expenses associated with hosting the reenactments, CCBF has paid over $68,000 to Belle Grove since 1999.



First and foremost, our reenactment will continue this fall as it always has. Through the hard work of our many dedicated reenactors, sponsors and volunteers, we will continue our reenactment activities as scheduled on October 18 & 19, 2008, so that preservation, educational activities and respect for our heritage and history can continue. The reenactment will take place on the core battlefield lands owned by the CCBF, as it has for many years. The CCBF Board voted several months ago not to use the Belle Grove property this year due to the high cost of renting the land ($5,000 for 3 days).



Quarry

FACT - After almost two years of waiting for the local preservation partnership group to negotiate a position, two weeks before the quarry rezoning public hearing, the CCBF stood alone in attempting to negotiate with the Quarry to ensure responsible preservation efforts and responsible land use. Ever since the rezoning issue appeared, our organization had opposed the application, because none of the concerns the CCBF raised had ever been adequately addressed. However, it also became clear to our board members that the “just say no” policy was not a practical position to take when we learned that the limestone vein adjacent to the Battlefield was of the highest quality valued at least $300 million dollars. With the prospect that the Quarry operations would continue as planned, CCBF alone sought to intercede, negotiate and obtain commitments from the Quarry that would enhance and continue our preservation efforts. We were able to secure such an agreement from the Quarry and, more importantly, secured an agreement that would bind the Quarry whether or not its rezoning efforts succeeded.



On April 23, 2008, just hours before the Frederick County Board of Supervisors public hearing, CCBF President Hirschberg signed an agreement with the Quarry guaranteeing the following:



Ř Berms: To improve and enhance the viewshed, the Quarry will reduce the height of the berms around the pits that are visible from the Heater House fields and main battlefield. In addition, the Quarry will landscape the berms with a mixture of deciduous and coniferous plantings. The agreement reached between the Quarry and CCBF was crafted to eliminate or significantly reduce the visibility of the existing processing plant when viewed from Route 11. For two decades, the number one complaint from both reenactors and spectators has been having the processing plant as the backdrop to the battlefield. We believe protecting the viewshed is critical to the experience that our reenactors and visitors enjoy. Its mitigation will become the single most important improvement to the vista of the entire park for years to come. This was the result of simply meeting one-on-one with the Quarry, and sharing our concerns. Berm construction will not occur in areas identified as historically significant.



Ř Cultural Resources: An eight acre tract previously identified as historically significant will be donated to CCBF within sixty days of the signing of the agreement. The Quarry and the CCBF have also agreed that there exists other historical resources, (U.S. VI Corps camp area), immediately adjacent to the eight acre parcel which may encompass an additional twenty acres more or less. These acres will also be deeded to the CCBF upon the completion of an archaeological study to confirm its significance. A joint archeological survey by Dr. Clarence Geier and Dr. Joseph Whitehorne, (both noted experts on the Civil War), will be conducted on all other properties under consideration for rezoning and such studies will be paid for by the Quarry.



Ř Artifacts: All artifacts discovered will become the property of the CCBF and will be held in trust for the public benefit.



Ř Additional Land Donation: As part of the agreement, other newly discovered areas of historical significance, (such as an area known locally as the Middletown Woods), may also be deeded to the CCBF. As a result, more core battlefield may/will be donated to CCBF pending the conclusion of the archeological survey.



In addition to the items mentioned above, the Quarry decreased the acreage in the rezoning application, (from 639 acres to 394 acres), restricted the number of truck loads to 86 per day, and instructed drivers to avoid Belle Grove and Chapel Roads. Also, CCBF has begun discussions with the Quarry concerning the possible placement of preservation easements on substantial amounts of core battlefield land.



In summary, CCBF has at all times acted honestly, responsibly and in a manner believed to be in keeping with the Foundation’s mission statement. Our efforts have always depended on the sustained goodwill and dedicated efforts of our many reenactors, sponsors and volunteers who have enabled us to preserve this important national treasure known as the Cedar Creek Battlefield. Our actions were intentionally designed to ensure that the preservation efforts of the past are enhanced, additional battlefield land is immediately secured, and strategies are implemented that will lead to future battlefield and artifact protection.



We look forward to seeing you on October 18 & 19.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation,



Suzanne Chilson

Executive Director

Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation

P.O. Box 229

Middletown, Virginia 22645

EmmanuelDabney
06-23-2008, 01:38 PM
...hmm and glad I don't do the Cedar Creek reenactment. I'm sorry this under the table deal is a slap in the face to historic preservation.

I hope should these people interact with soldiers in another life they can somehow explain themselves out of what possibly could be an interesting talk with the veterans who fought on these battlefields where it is just sooo necessary to build, build, build and then abandon some years later.

Busterbuttonboy
06-23-2008, 02:58 PM
All
There are still some oustanding questions, post the CCBF press release.

Regardless of the deal struck with the company on an aside, did any of the CCBF speak in favor or against the rezoning at the hearings?

Why it appears the other elements of the battlefield's administration, (BG/Natl Trust, SVBF, NPS) were not included in these negotiations. It is one of the few parks in the country which has joint operations.

How the 30 foot berms will impact any existing conservation easements, and how it may affect the Cedar Creek and its triubtarys?

Battlefield Preservation is not just about the acquistion of land. Its about the stewardship of the property, and the cultural landscape as a whole.
Drew A. Gruber

tompritchett
06-23-2008, 03:15 PM
All I have to say is...
...hmm and glad I don't do the Cedar Creek reenactment. I'm sorry this under the table deal is a slap in the face to historic preservation.

I hope should these people interact with soldiers in another life they can somehow explain themselves out of what possibly could be an interesting talk with the veterans who fought on these battlefields where it is just sooo necessary to build, build, build and then abandon some years later.

While I respect where you are coming from, I personally think that the negotiated deal was quite an achievement, especially in light that 1) all discovered artifacts will be permanently preserved, 2) several sites will undergo a thorough and professional archaeological study at the company's expense, 3) additional lands could easily be deeded over to the battlefield if they are indeed found to be archaeologically significant, and that additional lands not owned by the battlefield could end up having usage restrictions attached to their deeds - and this is without the other two concessions about truck traffic and the berms reducing the visible footprint of the existing quarry on the site. Of course the foundation could have continued to stonewall like the Belle Grove and NTHP and run the very real risk of being labeled by the county supervisors as being unreasonable and non-responsive. Given the fact that 300 million dollars are at stake, it is extremely unlikely that none of this limestone would ever get quarried as a negative decision by the supervisors would likely have been successfully challenged in the courts to whatever level it took (remember we are talking about $300 million here) to reverse their decision. IMHO, by deciding to enter in negotiation when they did, I think that the foundation has managed to win some very significant concessions on a deal that had a very high probability of going through regardless. Am I anti-preservation in saying this? No, I am just be a realist.

Busterbuttonboy
06-23-2008, 03:39 PM
Tom and All

"1) all discovered artifacts will be permanently preserved,"
- I agree.

"2) Several sites will undergo a thorough and professional archaeological study at the company's expense, "
- Yes companies should be more willing to do this.

"3) Additional lands could easily be deeded over to the battlefield if they are indeed found to be archaeologically significant, and that additional lands not owned by the battlefield could end up having usage restrictions attached to their deeds - "
- The property is within the study area and core areas of the battle. While archaeological evidence is nice, has it been hunted? Is it the location of a flanking maneuver? Will the additional lands be joined? Or islands? With berms a pit, the cultural landscape will be lost- forget about the civil war for a moment. It’s the valley.

Back to the berms.
"berms reducing the visible footprint of the existing quarry on the site."
- these berms 30 or was it 40 feet tall and vegetated will be, 1100 feet from the plantation house. Not mention yes will block the view of the quarry but then we will have berms. Unnatural, unsympathetic, berms in a second of historically, rolling valley land.
- Will the berms create any runoff or environmental issues which will cause damage to the Cedar Creek, its tributaries and the Shenandoah’s in the future? That no one can answer because the studies haven’t been done. Was it considered during the hearings?
- Will the berms be in direct violation to any conservation easements currently on the Cedar Creek battlefield? Adjacent properties? etc? Has the CCBF addressed this with their agreed proffer? No

"Of course the foundation could have continued to stonewall like the Belle Grove and NTHP and run the very real risk of being labeled by the county supervisors as being unreasonable and non-responsive."
- Cedar Creek is one of the few parks in the country which are run by multiple organizations. Were they supposed to cooperate together? Yes. Do we have evidence of this? No. Maybe this is the reason the National Trust/BG have taken the stand, to show us that the CCBF acted alone. Does this mean the CCBF presented itself at the hearings and in private as the sole steward of the property? Ahhh. All the mention the CCBF gives its counterparts are post negations and post rezoning.

I don’t debate that the situation concerning 300 M, would have won out over battlefield preservation. But by deciding to enter the negation when they did, and how they did, they may have made the county officials, the mining company feel like they were the only stewards.

Am I saying that 8 acres isn’t a victory? No. Am I saying, I don’t support the CCBF? No I have and I will continue to in the future. What I am saying is that we lost a cultural landscape. Purchasing or negotiating for acres, is not a concession. The preservation of a cultural landscape, decisions which cannot be done behind the backs of other organizations which are suppose to be together for the profit of the park.

Tom, this was not an attack on you personally. I am only trying to highlight the areas which I believe they failed.

Anders
06-23-2008, 04:13 PM
IMHO one must always try to make the best of any situation.

I am worried now however, that with today's economy, fewer preservation $ will be raised and or granted, and every last resource within the country will by looked at as possibly a remedy to our current economical and energy crisis.

Really, folks have fewer dollars now than before, and are cutting back on "non essential" spending.

Like donations to any causes.

And we need to plan on how to best deal with such, as preservation groups may be, or already have reached the peak of their power and resources.

Pvt Schnapps
06-23-2008, 04:28 PM
You know it's interesting once you start looking into this. One can't help but be sympathetic to a historical foundation up against a company wanting to exploit $300 million in limestone reserves, but CCBF wasn't necessarily alone.

Not only did Belle Grove and the National Trust (and now apparently Middletown) oppose the deal, but so did the Shenandoah Valley Network, which developed this study last year of Oglebay-Norton's options (apparently there's plenty of money to be made before destroying, or in lieu of destroying, battlefield property):

www.shenandoahvalleynetwork.org/PDF/2007.10.22/O-NRezoningOptions.doc

Since then, Oglebay-Norton has been purchased by Carmeuse Lime and Stone, an international corporation headquartered in Belgium:

http://www.carmeusena.com/Corporate/default.asp
(See the February 13 news release)

See also this story, for a comment from Carmeuse:

http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-va--battlefieldquarry0620jun20,0,186591.story

Carmeuse also appears in this Department of Justice consent decree related to operations in Kentucky:

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:-QI_RhcyLhMJ:www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees/Carmeuse/r_Carmeuse_Lime_%26_Stone_ComplaintFinal.pdf+%22Ca rmeuse+Lime+%26+Stone%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3

And in this EPA decree related to a plant in Chicago:

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/a883dc3da7094f97852572a00065d7d8/c70e98a5409bd28d852570bc0071657f!OpenDocument

And in this report of toxic releases in Alabama:

http://www.scorecard.org/env-releases/facility.tcl?tri_id=35137DRVLM599HW

I don't know -- perhaps this sort of thing is par for the course for a company doing the work that Carmeuse does. But if I can stumble across this much in about twenty minutes of looking on-line, I wonder what else might be out there, and how well it accords with the idea of stewardship over this historic property.

tompritchett
06-23-2008, 06:06 PM
Tom, this was not an attack on you personally. I am only trying to highlight the areas which I believe they failed.


I understand and do not take any of what you say in the above post personally. Indeed, I believe that you raised some very valid points on the matter.

electrichorseman
06-23-2008, 10:09 PM
I don't beleive a word of this. For the last 10 years I have lived within 1,400 yards of a small cement mixing plant. Although screened by trees I can hear every "beep! beep! beep!" of the trucks backing into the loading area and the thumping and pounding of the bucket lift. I can go out into the backyard right now, reach up to a tree branch and shake the gravel dust off it. And I don't even want to talk about how the property value has declined since that place opened. :(

Preservationists may regret this decision, but the locals who live nearby will one day loathe it.
I can't believe that either!

Somethings rotten here!

Busterbuttonboy
06-23-2008, 10:21 PM
Tom & All
Thank you. There is a lot to this story as Mike pointed out. The rezoning was looked into over a year ago and is thought to possibly have been postponed until this year, when board members correlated between the two organizations. Now I'm not a theorist. However, the fact that the legislation calls for 5 groups to work together, and the fact that one went ahead without talking to the others PRIOR to the case is obvious. The fact that the CCBF ignored the wishes and warning of a plethora of preservation/battlefield organizations is also obvious.

In short, my whole stick is this: Campaigner, Mainstream, Progressive etc. We are historians, people who are responsible for interpreting the turmoil of the mid 19th century to the public. Within those duties, we must forever be vigilant that our moneys and support (as Chris said) are wisely given to organizations which are cooperative with its partners, open, honest, and without personal agenda.

There are still some possible preservation tricks left to combat the issue. The Army Corps of Engineers may need to be called in. Easements may have been broken. I'm sure somewhere someone who cares is working on it.

Drew

Che
06-24-2008, 04:45 PM
I am worried now however, that with today's economy, fewer preservation $ will be raised and or granted, and every last resource within the country will by looked at as possibly a remedy to our current economical and energy crisis.

Really, folks have fewer dollars now than before, and are cutting back on "non essential" spending.

Like donations to any causes.



Things may not be as gloomy as they seem.

Charitable Giving Hits Record Despite Slowing Growth
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Wall Street Journal

Mounting economic worries haven't stopped Americans from donating to charities. Charitable giving hit a record in 2007, topping $300 billion for the first time, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Giving to charities increased steadily in the past decade, though lately the pace of growth has slowed. The latest figures show an increase of only 3.9 percent over 2006, compared to spikes of roughly 10 percent and 13 percent in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Americans donated $306 billion last year, according to preliminary figures contained in the closely watched annual report from the nonprofit Giving USA Foundation. After adjusting for inflation, donations rose only 1 percent from the roughly $295 billion donated in 2006.

The relative slowdown in giving is attributable to increasing economic uncertainty in the second half of 2007. Economic woes intensified last summer amid high gasoline prices, real-estate market turmoil and a burgeoning credit crunch, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Less-robust giving could continue throughout 2008, as the economy has worsened.

Still, on an absolute basis, charitable giving set another record. Researchers cited a healthy stock market in the first half of 2007, measured economic growth and increases in corporate and personal income as factors that kept giving up.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,371025,00.html

Dignann
06-25-2008, 07:48 AM
Business owner will boycott re-enactment

By Alex Bridges

The Northern Virginia Daily [Strasburg, Va.]
June 25, 2008

MIDDLETOWN — A local Civil War battlefield group refutes claims it switched sides in a controversial quarry expansion proposal in exch-ange for some land from a mining operation.

In fact, the Cedar Creek Battlefields Foundation never came out in support of a rezoning request by Carmeuse Lime & Stone to increase its Middletown operation, according to the group's executive director, Suzanne Chilson, as well as board member Julie Clevenger. Chilson said Monday she planned to issue a statement this week outlining the foundation's position on the issue.

But the fallout continues from the 4-3 vote by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors that allows the Belgium-based firm to expand its quarry by 640 acres. The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced June 18 that it and Belle Grove Inc. would sever their long-standing relationship with the Cedar Creek Battlefields Foundation over a perceived reversal from opposition to support for Carmeuse's rezoning.

Then last week, Marshall "Mark" Brown, co-owner of Why Not Antiques, called on fellow proprietors to boycott their support of the Battle of Cedar Creek re-enactment put on by the foundation in October.

"I think that the board for the Cedar Creek Battlefield is just going about this all wrong, and I think it's time they got a new board in there," Brown said Monday.

Brown claims the foundation entered into talks with the quarry operators about six to eight months ago "to get that [8 acre] piece of land in ... what seems to be return for not voicing opposition for the rezoning."

"But you look at the number of businesses in Middletown, it's not going to make an impact," Brown said. "But we'll see what happens ... when they start asking for donations for checks for their cannons or for advertising their program in October."

Chilson doubts the call for a boycott will gain steam.

"I don't know if a lot of businesses on the busiest weekend of the year for Middletown would think this was a really good idea or not," she said.

The 8 acres was to come to the foundation regardless of rezoning approval, Clevenger said.

"I can say for a fact that the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, we never voted on taking a stand, in favor or against or even maintaining neutrality when it came to O-N/Carmeuse proposal," Clevenger said Monday.

Chilson tried to relay that message in a May 23 letter to supervisors in which she cites comments made by Tim Stowe, a spokesman for the foundation, during the April 23 public hearing on the rezoning request. But Thomas "Ty" Lawson, an attorney for Carmeuse, misinterpreted Stowe, Chilson said.

"In fact, the Foundation's spokesman neither supported nor opposed the application," Chilson states in her letter. "His final comment at the public hearing was, 'Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation takes no exception to this rezoning.'"

Chilson states in the letter that the foundation entered into talks with Carmeuse in April to address its concerns. The foundation did sign a written agreement with the firm to receive an 8-acre tract, she added, and "the compromise reached between the two parties resolved many of the Foundation's issues concerning the preservation of historical resources, viewshed protection, archeological studies, artifact recovery and disposition, as well as land donation."

Another Middletown business owner said he's not sure about the call for a boycott.

"You know, I'm in a restaurant, and I have customers from both sides of that aisle, so I've really tried to stay neutral," Rob Mangus, owner of the Civil Cricket Cafe, said Tuesday, adding that he doesn't know all the details on the issue. "Now the recent vote by the supervisors, I'm just totally PO'd about."

"I have friends in all these different organizations, and it saddens me ... for us to be divided down here, I think that gave Chemstone the fuel to win this vote and I think it was a little sneaky how they did it."

http://www.nvdaily.com/news/313224974736718.bsp


Eric

Dignann
06-26-2008, 10:04 PM
Cedar Creek Supporters Lose Mine Rezoning Battle

By Deborah Fitts

Civil War News
July 2008

MIDDLETOWN, Va. - In a bitter blow to supporters of the Cedar Creek battlefield, the Frederick County Board of Supervisors voted May 28 to expand a limestone-mining operation across hundreds of acres of core battlefield.

“We were horribly disappointed,” said Wendy Hamilton, president of the local group Preserve Frederick. Jim Campi, spokesman for the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), warned that the supervisors’ decision could cast a pall over future preservation efforts at Cedar Creek.

The 4-3 vote by the supervisors OK’d a request by O-N Minerals Chemstone to rezone 394 acres from agricultural use to mining. The approval allows Chemstone to expand both north and south of its current mining operations at Cedar Creek.

Campi, who has worked closely with Preserve Frederick and a coalition of preservation groups, noted that on the northern part of the rezoned land, Union cavalry under George Custer struck the exposed left flank of the Confederate line at the climax of the battle, Oct. 19, 1864.

But now, said Hamilton, the existing mine plus the newly rezoned areas would enable Chemstone to create “a 2.5- to 3-mile hole in the ground.” O-N Minerals Chemstone is a subsidiary of Carmeuse Lime & Stone, based in Belgium.

Hamilton’s group worked for two years to defeat the rezoning. CWPT was a strong ally, but the coalition also included the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the new Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, among others.

Preserve Frederick hired a professional planner and last August came up with “Plan B”. It called for cancelling the rezoning on the area to the north of the current operation, where much of the Union counterattack occurred.

The rezoning would have been allowed only in the area to the south, which is already heavily impacted visually by the existing mine. The plan also called for 200-foot buffers to protect Cedar Creek and screen the mining from the adjacent landowners.

Hamilton said the compromise never received serious consideration.

“We did everything by the letter,” she said. “We left the emotion out of it. We were very respectful. We let everybody know what we were doing. And we got harshly criticized.

“This will be extremely disappointing to those who truly care about preserving this hallowed ground.”

Just days before the supervisors’ vote, Chemstone reduced its rezoning request from 639 to 394, in an apparent bid to win support. But Hamilton said the acreage that was removed from the rezoning was not slated for mining anyway: “They basically put a belt around the 639 acres and sucked it all into 394 acres. It did no good.”

National Park Threat

Preserve Frederick wasn’t the only member of the coalition to attempt a compromise. Diann Jacox, superintendent at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, was concerned about the impact of the rezoning on her park.

“Significant parts of the battlefield will be consumed,” Jacox said. “This is going to be very visible to us.” While the park so far owns 7.5 acres, its 3,500-acres boundary adjoins Chemstone. (The park does not encompass Chemstone land because the company “did not want to be within the boundary,” Jacox explained.)

In April Jacox met with Gary Lofton, the county supervisor for the district that includes the battlefield. She offered to hire a facilitator to broker a compromise between the preservation groups and Chemstone.

Lofton appeared supportive, and over the next month Jacox got pledges from coalition members totally $6,000 — enough to get started.

But Jacox said at the final supervisors’ meeting, Lofton announced that hiring a facilitator was, “a terrible idea.” He was one of the four votes in favor of Chemstone. “I think he just changed his mind,” she said.

The rezoning, Jacox said, would result in an even greater visual impact on the land within the park boundary. “The mine is not a pleasant sight to see, and now it will expand — onto acreage that could have been preserved. We have provided no protection for the battlefield.”

Howard Kittell, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, also expressed disappointment over the outcome. And the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns the house-museum Belle Grove, a battlefield landmark, rapped Chemstone.

In a letter to the local paper, the Trust’s Southern Field Office Director Robert Nieweg wrote that in 2006, when the Frederick County Planning Commission recommended against the rezoning, they “asked the quarry to open a meaningful dialogue” with adjacent landowners.

Chemstone, however, “didn’t follow through,” Nieweg said, “and instead essentially ignored its neighbors and their constructive objections to the quarry’s rezoning application.”

CCBF Makes a Deal

One month before the board’s vote, the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (CCBF) stunned the other members of the coalition by striking its own deal with Chemstone. The nonprofit owns 300 acres in two parcels on either side of the Belle Grove.

Under the legal agreement, Chemstone could preserve as much as 50 acres of battlefield. It will also hand any artifacts found on the rezoned property over to CCBF. (One of Chemstone’s proffers to the supervisors was to undertake an archeological study.) The foundation intends to display artifacts as the “Carmeuse Collection”.

Chemstone also agreed to move piles of spoil and build berms as much as 30 feet in height, planted with trees, to conceal visible intrusions from CCBF land. The spoil piles and other signs of the mining have long been an eyesore for CCBF’s annual October reenactment. When it came time for the supervisors to consider the rezoning, CCBF took no position.

Foundation board member Tim Stowe said it was his idea to approach Chemstone. The foundation didn’t support Plan B. While the plan would have blocked the rezoning at the northern end of the existing mine, it would have allowed mining to expand at the southern end- adjacent to foundation property.

“Our deal that we cut with the quarry was independent of the rezoning,” Stowe said. “We didn’t have any strong feelings one way of the other (about the rezoning), so long as we took care of our interests.”

He added, “I don’t know why the other groups didn’t sit down with the quarry. Our goal was to move preservation forward for the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, and my feeling is that we did.”

By the agreement, Chemstone was to donate to the foundation within 60 days an 8-acre parcel near Belle Grove that had long been identified as historic due to associated mills and other structures no longer standing. "We did not go asking for the 8 acres,” Stowe said. “They wanted to donate it to a preservation group, and they chose to give it to us.”

(CWPT’s Campi said Plan B would have provided “a generous buffer” at the southern end, to protect adjoining properties. The 8-acre parcel would have fallen inside the buffer.)

Chemstone also agreed to undertake an archeological study of Middletown Woods, an area at the north end of the quarry. Although it is more than a mile from the closest CCBF land, Stowe said, their board had done archeology there previously and were familiar with it. Stowe described it as “a triage area” during the battle, where the wounded were laid out for medical attention.

The agreement also calls for Chemstone to pay for a cultural resource study to be led by Dr. Clarence Geire, with students from James Madison University. Chemstone agreed that if there is additional property near the 8-acre parcel and at Middletown Woods that is deemed to have “historical significance,” Chemstone will donate the land to the foundation. Stowe estimated the total possible donation at 50 acres.

“This is the richest limestone deposit in the country,” said Stowe. “We felt that sooner or later it was going to get rezoned. This way at least we get something preserved, and the mounds removed, and archeological studies done.”

Hamilton, of Preserve Frederick, said she was “truly disappointed” with CCBF. She said their deal with Chemstone “weighed very heavily” in the supervisors’ decision (Stowe disagreed, contending it had no effect).

“However many acres they get,” Hamilton said of CCBF, it was not an “acceptable exchange” for the acres of core battlefield that will now be lost due to rezoning. If the board had turned Chemstone down, she noted, the Civil War Preservation Trust would have stepped in with an offer to purchase.

CWPT Makes Offer

Indeed sensing that supervisors might opt for the rezoning, CWPT made a last-ditch offer five days before the vote.

“As part of a potential compromise,” Trust Chairman Todd Sedgwick wrote to the Board of Supervisors, if they tabled or rejected the rezoning, “CWPT would be willing to consider acquisition of all or part of the property in question.”

But now, said Campi, Chemstone has no incentive to sell. The value of the limestone on the rezoned land is estimated at $300 million.

Still, with days of the vote CWPT wrote to Chemstone asking to sit down and discuss a purchase. Campi said the Trust would likely focus on Chemstone land that had not been rezoned.

All in all, said Campi, the rezoning represents “one of the bigger losses” in recent years by the Civil War preservation community. The effect at Cedar Creek will be insidious and far-reaching, he suggested.

“It’s going to have a significant impact on the battlefield,” Campi said. But equally important, “It’s going to affect future preservation efforts at Cedar Creek,” since preservationists may be reluctant to acquire battlefield land in the shadow of a mining operation.


Eric

kayjay
07-01-2008, 07:41 AM
...hmm and glad I don't do the Cedar Creek reenactment. I'm sorry this under the table deal is a slap in the face to historic preservation.

I hope should these people interact with soldiers in another life they can somehow explain themselves out of what possibly could be an interesting talk with the veterans who fought on these battlefields where it is just sooo necessary to build, build, build and then abandon some years later.

Did you read the post [Anders] preceding yours by a few minutes?

bill watson
07-07-2008, 10:14 PM
http://www.civilwarnews.com/preservation/2008pres/cedar_krick_presjuly08_902.htm

More on the controversy

tompritchett
07-08-2008, 10:34 AM
Bill, given the comments by the Battlefield Foundation and the information in the letter, I am wondering whether or not the Battlefield Foundation was in the loop about the Plan B proposal and had been made aware that it had been sent to each of the supervisors. It would also be nice if someone who is aware of the particulars of the Plan B proposal could post those details here so that we can make a comparison between the concessions asked for in the proposal versus those obtained by the Battlefield Foundation.

reddiamond
07-23-2008, 10:10 AM
I am a descendant of at least two soldiers who fought at Cedar Creek. One was a young man of nineteen ion the 23rd Ohio. The other a man well into his forties in the 4th Virginia. Feeling such a bond with Cedar Creek, I have supported the CCBF and the event in the past.

There are those who are calling for a boycott of the annual reenactment because of the actions of the CCBF this year. My own heart wishes to do so, to send a message of my disapproval to the foundation. I am enraged at the prospect of the mining company destroying the many acres of hallowed ground. I am saddened that the foundation did not stick by its moral guns and oppose to the end the demise of this important piece of property.
It makes me wonder how/why the CCBF came to act so unilaterally. A lot of questions come to mind.

Did the other entities know of the rezoning meeting? Where were the National Trust, Shenandoah Battlefield folks, the NPS? Did they not come to the meeting for lack of knowledge that it was scheduled? It being so much of a concern to them. There are five entities who claim equal share in the stewardship of the property. Was Belle Grove at the meeting to voice opposition? Surely, four angry voices would override the one complacent vote of no contest! Did the CCBF act alone because it had to?

In addition, the rezoning of the property may have been a foregone conclusion with the votes already in place. It sounds to me like the CCBF had to hustle for concessions if they knew it was all a done deal. If that is the case, then they did the best they could under the circumstances.

One other issue moves me to pause. The board of the CCBF is just that- the board of currently elected persons. That board has, can, and will change. I do not want to punish that past or, more importantly, the future of what good works the foundation can do in the future. It is not the foundation that is the object of my ire, but the seated board.

The CCBF besides Belle grove was once slated to have around nine industrial sites placed on it. All that is preserved now would have been destroyed had the CCBF not been active. In addition, the 19th Corps trenches have been saved, as well as the addition of other significant properties over the years.
Most of this work was achieved with the CCBF working alone. The other entities have signed on since.

A great deal of the money raised to preserve, buy, and protect those fields come from the annual reenactment. In fact, I would venture to say that if it were not for that annual event, the property would all be one vast hole. The $300M worth of limestone on the other side of the railroad tracks is likely a small portion of that which lies on the slopes around the Heater House.

In as much as I want to send a message that being silent on the issue of the mining company's is unacceptable, I fear that a mass boycott will only serve to damage current and future preservation efforts of the foundation. No money=no site. Unless the other entities who claim trust in the site wish to take over the responsibility of total stewardship, I have to back the foundation- even though I find odds with the current board. We could always elect another.

Scot Buffington

Busterbuttonboy
07-28-2008, 11:16 AM
There are available a plethora of meeting minutes which can answer the questions we all want answers to.

Here are some examples of the sort of really tasty goodness found in meeting minutes.

June 7th, 2006 the Frederick County Planning Commission denies rezoning, based upon an unsatisfactory application as well as pages of testimony by Belle Grove, NPS, CCBF, Shenandoah Network and citizens in the area who are very OPPOSED to this.

April 17, 2008. Cornerstone meeting to discuss the renewed Chemstone application. All organizations in attendance, including the CCBF, NPS, Belle Grove were in OPPOSITION to this and where going to write the Board of Supervisor to remind them again.


I am plowing through all the minutes, ALL the minutes, on my long train rides to and from work. Currently, I am confident in saying that ALL the organizations who own or operate around the historic Cedar Creek boundaries did everything within their power to oppose the rezoning(s) in a manner that correlated to the preservation and economic needs of the area; as well as within the General Management Plan for the park which is still under construction. It appears on paper that until the final meeting, there was great coordination by the organizations in question, followed by extreme confusion and loss of coordination at the final meeting. In this last meeting the Board of Supervisors voted against the opinion of the Planning Commission who found multiple issues again with the application- as well as what read as a stand alone, 180 move by the CCBF. Proffers or not, there was a considerable "flip flop" without any apparent notification.

I will post all the details soon so we can sit back and take a look at the whole situation now that everything has quieted down and minutes are available online.

From the looks of things, it seems everyone was on board and opposed to this until the day of the vote.

Scot is right without the event the CCBF cannot be successful in what they have done in the past. I personally have supported them for over a dozen years and may continue to do so in the future. However without a battlefield, a viewshed or a cultural landscape the "key" to the valley battlefields, as called in their Comprehensive plan, sucks the tourist dollars as well. These actions, proffers aside, set precedents which will show up in court or rezoning cases in the future.

Our first duty as Living Historians is to preserve, protect, and defend these lands and properties. That comes with an understanding of preservation techniques, compliance, local, state and federal regulations as well as a deep seated interest in our history. Second to that is old timey shoot em ups.

I heard one fellow say to me at At High Tide, "Why Should I Care What Happens at Cedar Creek?"

Next time you put that uniform on, handsitching or otherwise, sit back and think to yourself if you've put the appropriate amount of time, consideration and thought into what you’re wearing and why you wear it.

Drew Gruber

TheSignalCorpsGuy
07-28-2008, 11:30 AM
I heard one fellow say to me at At High Tide, "Why Should I Care What Happens at Cedar Creek?"

Next time you put that uniform on, handsitching or otherwise, sit back and think to yourself if you've put the appropriate amount of time, consideration and thought into what you’re wearing and why you wear it.

Drew Gruber

Just wanted to re-emphasize what Drew said so well!

tompritchett
07-28-2008, 11:38 AM
I am plowing through all the minutes, ALL the minutes, on my long train rides to and from work. Currently, I am confident in saying that ALL the organizations who own or operate around the historic Cedar Creek boundaries did everything within their power to oppose the rezoning(s) in a manner that correlated to the preservation and economic needs of the area; as well as within the General Management Plan for the park which is still under construction. It appears on paper that until the final meeting, there was great coordination by the organizations in question, followed by extreme confusion and loss of coordination at the final meeting. In this last meeting the Board of Supervisors voted against the opinion of the Planning Commission who found multiple issues again with the application- as well as what read as a stand alone, 180 move by the CCBF. Proffers or not, there was a considerable "flip flop" without any apparent notification.

I am just wondering if there was something going on in the background, especially at the Supervisors level that pretty much pre-determined what the vote was going to be regardless of what CCBF, the other preservation organizations, and the Planning Commission recommended. I would pay particular attention to the minutes to the prior Supervisor meetings. IMHO, too much money was at stake for every thing to remain squeaky clean and above board at that level of government.

Busterbuttonboy
07-28-2008, 01:16 PM
Tom

The Planning Comm, voted against it. Cited reasons; environmental, non profit and public outcry, view shed, the list goes on and on.

In the 08 round of voting, the Planning Comm says the same things and talks at length about how the application does not answer the important questions about environmental and cultural resources.

There is chatter about the cite being the location of public water storage for the county and Winchester- that could have sealed the deal, but would that have done it in 06? It came up but did not appear to have anything near the same weight as the concerns raised by the non profits and public had against this. Mind you at this point, it was all one big NO from all the preservation/battlefield groups. Who had honored the in progress, GMP and their neighbors by supporting the planning commissions decision and speaking out IN CONCERT at the meetings.

It all changes the day of the vote. The other organizations look around dumbfounded when on the April 23rd meeting a CCBF member said , "they (CCBF) took no exception to the rezoning...they did not want to see anymore rooftops of traffic...talked to them (Mining Company) about their rezoning." At which point, Belle Grove and the Superintendent of Cedar Creek, and Preserve Frederick both say, they would have liked to have been part of the discussions. Obviously taken by surprise. Tabled.

May 28th meeting. Supervisor Lofton said that obviously the non profit and public entities had no "issues with the operations." And that the dealings the applicant had with the CCBF were representative of of what could happen if people worked with the applicant. Obviously something had happened.

The devil is in the details. There was a lot going on, all at the same time, in unison and then instantly without coordination. Does the entire blame fall on the CCBF. No because the BOS made the decision. However with this kinda money on the table, does it just take one "without exception" from a key player to justify a rezoning? At what point did the cohesion (which was successful from the beginning) fall apart?

(Put on your mineral CEO goggles...) If you have several groups working against you and one comes to you without the others...

Again not blaming anyone just yet.

"I am just wondering if there was something going on in the background..." Yes and these government organizations often rely on non-profits to help steer them, alls it takes is one.

Yes theres a lot going on. I've been having a ball with PDF's trying to extract and copy these things. I'm a historian- maybe not a good one, but I'm documenting everything here, ill link or upload the files so that everyone can see these statements in context.

D.a. Gruber

paul hadley
07-28-2008, 03:00 PM
Folks, what are the local rules regarding mining operations?

That is, don't they have to at least return the surface of the property to somewhat resemble the original landscape, as is done with strip mining for coal and iron ore in other parts of the country?

These "protective" berms sound like an expensive waste of everyone's time -- the fight's not over, but if they really have won the rights to remove this stone from the battlefield how much are they going to tear up the edges of the property trying to build this screen? How long will this eyesore be around? Thousands of loads of earth and the inherent road ruts and increased air and possible groundwater pollution, trees planted where they weren't in the 19th century -- and we still will see them building this as well as having to endure unnatural hills blocking out the valley.

I wonder if they started instead at the edge of the property and completed their work there as quickly as possible, then they could recede back toward where they are today, filling in and smoothing over as they go. Would this at least lessen the time period in which we have to avert our teary eyes?

Just wondering. This issue is just beginning to hit home out here on the prairie -- those with $$$ are buying up acreages at the edge of our town, tearing down historic farm buildings in the process, so that they can justify widening streets in town which will destroy historic districts in town, which of course will save them 10-15 minutes of commuting time.

Different reasons to alter property but much the same result. If as a society we only look to the quick fix, future generations suffer.

Sorry for the rant,
Paul
P.S. -- as we debate whether the U.S. of A. should be searching for oil and other resources outside out borders, perhaps we also should reconsider the impact of foreign investors on what goes on within our borders?

EmmanuelDabney
07-28-2008, 03:51 PM
Drew and I have concurring opinions as two very close friends might share and in this case most certainly share.


We must care about Cedar Creek because replace Cedar Creek with threats to the cultural landscape at Petersburg due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act. A campaign which constituted nearly 1/4 of the American Civil War in Virginia and cost some 70,000 casualties (killed, wounded, captured).


We must care about Cedar Creek because replace Cedar Creek with threats to the cultural landscape at Mansfield, Louisiana where 4400 people became casulaties and there is continued threat from expansion of industry there.


We must care about Cedar Creek because replace Cedar Creek with threats to the architectural composition of historically significant buildings.

We must care about Cedar Creek because if we don't care now there will be nothing left to care about when we are older or long gone.

In A Richer Heritage: Preservation in the Twenty-First Century. (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.) The editor, Robert E. Stipe gives us several reason to preserve and I think everyone here and elsewhere would do well to read this book. However, one of the ones that always I think should be in the forefront of our minds as people interested in history is that we preserve because of a place's unique characteristics.

Cedar Creek is unique in that it is the battle that effectively ended the Confederate military's offensive manuevers in the Shenandoah Valley for the remainder of the war. It is also Jubal Early's last time in the field commanding such a large number of troops. This battle is the last battle for Confederate General Stephen Ramseur. The Union victory is also a major Union victory that came less than a month before Abraham Lincoln secured his second term in office. Cedar Creek is unique for its natural beauty containing the creek itself and rolling hills in Virginia's beautiful Shenandoah Valley.

However, destroy this natural and historical preserve with unexamined and unchecked progress and disaster shall follow scarring the fields where people lived, fought, and died to carry out their struggles for freedom and the preservation of their individual needs and their countries' needs.

RJSamp
07-28-2008, 04:40 PM
Folks, what are the local rules regarding mining operations?

That is, don't they have to at least return the surface of the property to somewhat resemble the original landscape, as is done with strip mining for coal and iron ore in other parts of the country?

Sorry for the rant,
Paul
P.S. -- as we debate whether the U.S. of A. should be searching for oil and other resources outside out borders, perhaps we also should reconsider the impact of foreign investors on what goes on within our borders?

Where are mines returned to resemble the original landscape? that would be nigh impossible?

Watch us start to drill more in the continental US/Alaska.....

tompritchett
07-28-2008, 04:59 PM
Where are mines returned to resemble the original landscape? that would be nigh impossible?

If the mining is done using a trench strip mining method (versus shaving the tops off of mountains), it actually can be done if the state is willing to force the issue. Just this summer, I drove back to Madisonville, Kentucky along the WK and US 41N on family matters and saw reclaimed strip mined land that had indeed been returned back to the natural condition it was 30 years ago before they started the mining. I can not say exactly how long it took for the land to heal as it had been years since I had been down in that area of Kentucky.

Anders
07-29-2008, 07:46 AM
Been watching this for a long time, and while I have no input directly with Cedar Creek, I know more deals are still going on.

And to echo RJ, with todays economy, one can expect new drilling, mining and so forth to happen, perhpas even in our own backyards.

I think, sad to say, that we may end up losing land in general, whether state forests, public hunting land, or battlefields. To say that we won't is living in a fantasy. To fight is required, and often a tactical draw must be considered a victory.

Many times I have heard we need to change the public's outlook or opinions, but when it comes down to it, when they see the cost of gas sky high, and cant make thier house payment due to high energy costs eating up what was thier buffer, they will agree to drilling anywhere....except for preservationists, hunters and tree huggers (wierd combination if you ask me). And because these groups generally do not like each other, the chance of them combining for a larger alliance is pretty slim.

It is a sad state in which folks live, where they focus on today, rather than the the legacy they leave behind.

Pards,

tompritchett
07-29-2008, 01:38 PM
It is a sad state in which folks live, where they focus on today, rather than the the legacy they leave behind.

IMHO, the reason that we are in the sad state that we are in today is that we as a nation tend to focus on just today and the very near future rather than years ahead. The shortage of oil supplies to meet the growing world-wide demand was being predicted years ago by the International Energy Administration and other experts but we chose to ignore the warnings until the shortages came up and bit us in the heinie. Likewise, we are so focused on today that we ignore what legacy and world we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. As stewards of what we have been given and blessed we as a nation have definitely failed and demonstrated our untrustworthiness. I just hope that our judgment will not be as severe as that of the unfaithful steward in the parable.