WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A proposed development of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails that would have encompassed roughly 9,000 acres of the East Lynn Wildlife Management area in Wayne County has been suspended following strong opposition from the community.
Officials with the Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreation Authority say an online petition created against the development received more than 12,000 signatures and nearly 100 people showed up for a public hearing in the month of August to voice their concerns.
Members of the authority also received more than 400 comments on an online portal where the public could register to submit formal comments about the project.
Members tell WSAZ.com they have never seen this type of resistance and say they want to honor the opinions of the community.
“Our goal is to enter an area that is looking to diversify their communities through tourism opportunities,” said Chris Zeto, Marketing Consultant of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. “We respect the views of all involved parties and at this time, we feel that we need to redirect our attention to other areas.”
A press released sent out Tuesday read in part, “Based on the responses and participation of community members in the public input process, the Authority Board of Directors has decided to suspend the project. The importance of community input into this type of decision is reflective to its success and the Authority Board of Directors appreciates the feedback from members of the community.”
The Hatfield-McCoy Trail system will continue to seek out new projects and expansions within their fourteen-county project area.
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