State Senator Brian Feldman gave a proclamation from the District 15 Delegation recognizing the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee and reiterated the importance of the Reserve and it's Rustic Road 'arteries.'
Rustic Roads Advisory Committee Chair Bob Tworkowski illuminated the role of the Committee as fitting into a long line of farmland stewards both before and after their tenure of service. (To this end, the committee does need new members soon, interested?) Bob presented a slideshow explaining the program and showcasing a number of the most important roads in the program. Attendees were bowled over by the image below of Montgomery County taken from space showing night time light exposure. The green shape is the Ag Reserve.
Royce Hanson capped off the event with some thoughts about protection of the Reserve. He has often said that the biggest risks to the Reserve come from the Reserve's purported allies in decision making roles that make what seem to be small harmless changes that can have big unforeseen impacts. The recently approved ZTA 18-03 that allows for expansion of breweries and event facilities is a perfect example - Agritourism is generally a good thing for the region and for farms but this ZTA is written so loosely that the uses allowed no longer have ties to Agriculture. ( MCA will be taking this ZTA decision to court, stay tuned).
The event also included a performance by bluegrass band Peace Run - 'Rustic Roads, Take Me Home' - to the tune of the more well known 'Country Roads (Almost Heaven)'. In fact - the songwriter of John Denver's popular tune had never been to West Virginia before writing that song but was inspired by Montgomery County's own Clopper Road. The members of the Committee gave steadfast Planning Staff member Leslie Saville a Rustic Roads sign entitled 'Leslie Lane' in appreciation for her work on the program.