Blackwater Task Force named

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Eleven local individuals were appointed to the newly formed Blackwater Task Force, charged with forming the future use of the Isle of Wight County-owned property. 

Four state officials were also named to the Task Force, which was formalized by the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors Thursday.

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An individual seat to represent the equestrian community remains open. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

At issue is whether the roughly 2,500-acre property should be opened to the public. 

The property has been leased in the past by local hunt clubs, and those clubs have been given the right to hunt the property during the upcoming season. 

When the hunt club leases expired earlier this year, the Board floated the idea of turning the property over to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for management as public property used for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching. After some discussion, the Board rejected the offer. 

Named as voting members to the Task Force are:

David Smith — Director of Isle of Wight Parks and Recreation

Judy Winslow — Director of Isle of Wight County Tourism

Rob Wilson — Scouts of America (formerly Boy Scouts)

Billy Holleman — Mill Swamp Hunt Club

Todd West — Isle of Wight Hunt Club

Curtis Lytle — resident 

Pete Acker — Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Ed Easter — Resident

Della Carrico — Kayaker

Brian Carroll — Fire and Rescue

Cristin Emrick — Hikers, Runners

Vacant — Equestrian

 Serving in Ex-Officio non-voting advisory position:

Scott Bachman — Department of Forestry

Amanda Sheps — Department of Forestry (easement specialist)

Darren Loomis — Department of Conservation and Recreation (natural resources)

Lynn Crump — Department of Conservation and Recreation (recreation)  {/mprestriction}