New Virginia River Access Fee Program Delayed Until 2022
The media is reporting that the new fee program affecting river access areas owned and managed by Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources river access areas has been delayed one year, from starting in July of 2021, to instead starting in July of 2022. The delay is to allow for additional input and reconsideration of how the program should be implemented, apparently specifically to reduce impacts on outfitters. A committee will review the new law and make recommendations on possible improvements. American Whitewater encourages Virginia paddlers to get involved through their state legislators, through club participation in the committee, and through any public comment opportunity.
American Whitewater generally does not oppose reasonable day-use fees of river access areas through programs that direct these funds back to river access sites and that have financial transparency and accountability, public involvement, and representation by paddlers in decision-making. It is unclear at this time if the new fee system meets these standards and we look forward to learning more through the review process and ultimately to ensure that the fee program serves the public interest.