"Senator Manchin is a lifelong hunting enthusiast and is committed to making sure that the Alleghany Highlands remain open to hunting if the area receives a new designation from the National Parks Service," the statement read.
The designation as a preserve appears to settle the hunting question, but other questions remain.
The most ticklish, at least from a sporting standpoint, is the question of whether trout stockings would be permitted. At several national parks, brown trout and rainbow trout are considered non-native species. Stockings of them have been halted, and, in the case of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, efforts have been made to eradicate wild and reproducing populations of them.
Should the Park Service extend their non-native species policy toward the proposed High Allegheny Park and Preserve, stockings of browns and rainbows into the Blackwater River, the North Fork of the South Branch, Dry Fork, Gandy Creek, Glady Fork and the East and West forks of the Greenbrier could end.
Trappers might also lose out. When Congress created the New River Gorge National River in Southern West Virginia, the state's congressional delegation took care to write specific language into the enabling legislation to ensure that hunting would be allowed. No language was inserted to allow trapping. To this date, trapping is prohibited there.
And then there are lesser-known pursuits such as ramp digging, morel hunting and ginseng digging. Some parks allow them, others prohibit them. The rules appear to depend on environmental and human-use factors.
According to the Park Service website, Congress could allow any or all of the aforementioned activities, or even oil and gas drilling if they so desired. Everything appears to hinge on the enabling legislation's specific language.
So tighten your shoelaces. The legislative path toward this park could get mighty rocky.