Reimagining Lumber River State Park and Fair Bluff to capture the growing trend of ecotourism

这是关于木材河下游和费尔布拉夫振兴的三篇系列故事中的第一篇. 未来的系列将以木材河上游为特色.

在弗吉尼亚州南部山区的任何一个周末, 数百人——有时甚至数千人——骑自行车从罗杰斯山顶附近骑行17英里到达大马士革, Va. 它几乎都是下坡的1,700英尺的斜坡沿着废弃的铺砌或硬化的铁路床蜿蜒而下,被横跨月桂溪的木桥所横贯.

A second stretch runs from 大马士革 on mostly flat ground to Abington, Va.完成了35英里的步道.

大马士革, once barely clinging to life after the closure of its main industry in 1986, now thrives as cyclists and hikers crowd restaurants and stores almost year-round.

Two hundred and eighty-nine miles to the southeast lies Fair Bluff in Columbus County. Ravaged by floodwaters from the Lumber River following hurricanes Matthew and Florence, downtown is devoid of the throngs of people who once filled the streets during tobacco market. 摇摇欲坠的砖砌历史建筑空无一人. 主街上的镇上大钟不再报时,停留在11:30.

这是一个关于两个城镇的故事,一个机会已经实现,另一个仍在寻找新的身份.

Thirty-four years ago, people in and around Abington and 大马士革 and a U.S. 代表该地区的国会议员有一个转型项目的愿景,该项目将利用越来越多的骑自行车者和来自城市寻求冒险的生态游客. 铁路公司于1977年放弃了这条线路. Congress later appropriated $2 million to turn the railbed into a greenway. 结果就是弗吉尼亚爬行者小径, 它于1989年开业,现在大约有250人参观,每年5000人.

Fair Bluff finds itself at a crossroads similar to that faced by 大马士革 in the mid 80s, 这就引出了一个问题:这条在三年内两次摧毁小镇的河流能否将自己转变为一个吸引桨手和其他生态游客的目的地?

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Though it’s unlikely that hundreds of paddlers would take to the river on any given day, 这些都是让费尔布拉夫成为生态旅游目的地的必要条件.

林河州立公园负责人莱恩·加纳认为,随着越来越多的人在户外寻求慰藉,林河和州立公园将会发展壮大.

莱恩·加纳,林河州立公园的负责人. Les High摄影

莱恩·加纳,林河州立公园的负责人. Les High摄影

“我们想说,我们做的是永远的生意,加纳说。, 这意味着我们管理的财产将永远受到保护. 我希望看到更多的财产受到各种机构和保护团体的保护,如木材河保护协会或普通公民,他们意识到做好环境管理者的重要性.

“I also hope to see more recreation opportunities offered at the park with additional trails, 远足和马术都有, 露营的机会像原始的和划桨的地点, 和房车场地. Recent floods have changed some of our plans because a majority of our land is in the floodplain, but with careful planning I hope to see additional facilities that can withstand future storms.”

加纳认为,随着河流使用量的增加, 州立公园和费尔布拉夫有机会与它一起成长. He envisions everything from private outfitters to a brewery and bed and breakfasts in Fair Bluff.

河湾服装店

Richard 威利斯 and the late Stacy 王 once ran an outfitting service on the river, operating for nine years from a small building at the boat landing in Fair Bluff.

王 had a vision to promote Fair Bluff and its natural resources, 威利斯 said. 这一愿景的成果之一是1997年成立的河湾服装店. 王, 在他70多岁的时候, 拥有独木舟, 皮艇, 和其他设备, 举止和蔼可亲, 并且“寻找人们最好的一面。,威利斯说.

威利斯, 两人中较年轻的,30多岁, 大部分的独木舟和皮划艇的引导和搬运工作都完成了吗. He was working at a job out of state and looking for a way to get back to his hometown.

河湾服装店前的一群人, which operated for nine years out of Fair Bluff by Stacy 王 and Richard 威利斯. 图片由Richard 威利斯提供

河湾服装店前的一群人, which operated for nine years out of Fair Bluff by Stacy 王 and Richard 威利斯. 图片由Richard 威利斯提供

在河上当向导对威利斯来说是天作之合.

“I loved the camaraderie and teaching people about the river and nature and all it has to offer,他说.

河湾有大约20艘独木舟和20艘皮艇. 大多数短途旅行都是在夏季.

“Some days we didn’t have enough canoes and 皮艇 and some days there would be a drought,威利斯说。.

河本德没有做很多过夜的旅行,因为木材河几乎没有毗邻水的土地. 行程大多在4到6个小时左右,从美国出发.S. 74 to Fair Bluff, or three hours long, winding from Princess Ann to Fair Bluff.

和其他谈论河流的人一样, 威利斯指出,这可能很危险, 不同程度的水位和流速, 障碍或“过滤器”,和沙洲. 他通常每七艘船需要一个向导.

偶尔会发生一些意外, 包括一对遇到麻烦的夫妇,他们找到了走出沼泽的路,然后走回了费尔布拉夫.

威利斯相信,今天会有另一个服装品牌成功. He says anyone getting into outfitting would probably need a supplemental income.

威利斯说:“这主要是周末的事情. “我们有很多回头客. 现在镇上有这么多车辆,谁知道呢?”


An early group in River Bend Outfitter canoes near the take-out point in Fair Bluff. 图片由Richard 威利斯提供

An early group in River Bend Outfitter canoes near the take-out point in Fair Bluff. 图片由Richard 威利斯提供

这条河在装备方面有利有弊. 它狭窄的宽度和急转弯使得独木舟和皮划艇与摩托艇共用河流非常危险. There aren’t a lot of take-out spots for lunches unless the water is low and sandbars are exposed. 他讨厌越来越多的老树被砍伐到离河只有50英尺的地方, 留下了将持续一代人的丑陋伤疤.

“But,威利斯说。, “guiding on the river brought a lot of joy and pleasure to me personally. 这是一个如此宁静的地方.

“If we can keep it in pristine condition…,他说, his voice trailing off. “人们没有意识到这条河有多珍贵.”

重新想象公平的虚张声势

城镇经理艾尔·伦纳德在飓风过后重建费尔布拉夫的过程中发挥了重要作用.

“每个社区都必须找到自己的定位,”伦纳德说. “费尔布拉夫河是木材河. 随着默特尔比奇和不伦瑞克县的发展,我们希望与未来保持一致.”

河边开, 伦纳德说, is full of pickup trucks during the warm months without much marketing or promotion. “It’s a really good place to spend a Saturday or Sunday with friends or family.”

哥伦布县的委员们, 包括费尔布拉夫的兰迪·布里特专员, 资助了费尔布拉夫河步道的一小段, 一个绕组, 与木材河相邻的高架木制走道. 它很容易成为北卡罗来纳州东南部最美丽的小径.

A proposed master plan for the new Fair Bluff park where downtown is currently sited.

A proposed master plan for the new Fair Bluff park where downtown is currently sited.

镇专员威拉德·斯莫尔和伦纳德是该州烟草信托基金委员会的成员,后来获得了450美元的赔偿,把木板路延长到四分之三英里.

在修复了供水和下水道基础设施并将市政厅和消防部门迁往新设施之后, 伦纳德和镇委员们开始着手第二阶段的恢复工作——将费尔布拉夫的经济未来与河流结合起来.

飓风马修后拍摄的一张照片显示,一艘玻璃纤维滑雪船在主街上航行自如. 污水好几天都没有退去. 霉菌在企业内部像野火一样蔓延. The water eroded the old brick, rendering many buildings structurally unsound.

The future of the nearly bankrupt river town was, as Leonard once put it, “bleak.” Many residents left, shrinking the population from more than 900 to about 625.

但费尔布拉夫找到了火花.

Trail Life Troop 1533 boys and leaders launch a canoe at Princess Ann landing. Les High摄影

沿河步道依然存在. 该镇最近为一个新的住宅区剪彩,并获得了在洪水区外建设一个新商业区的资金.

费尔·布拉夫希望获得一个N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund matching grant that will create a park with campsites, 农贸市场, 带有凉亭的开放空间, 还有休闲场地和球场, 在其他特色中,市中心现在坐落于此.

诀窍, 伦纳德说, 将会找到资金来拆除现有的建筑,为新的费尔布拉夫让路,而这个新的费尔布拉夫将依赖于几乎摧毁它的水.

斯莫尔支持将费尔布拉夫市中心改造成人们寻找自然感觉的目的地的计划,他96年来一直享受着这种感觉.

“这里的人都很友好,这条河很美,”他说. “我相信Fair Bluff会比以前更好.”

一辆旧校车可能是当年的钓鱼小屋. Les High摄影

经济发展工具

发展可能与环境发生冲突, 而是哥伦布和罗布森县的经济发展主任, 分别是加里·拉尼尔和钱宁·琼斯, 相信这条河可以刺激绿色经济增长和合乐888在线登录注册.

“木材河生态旅游的潜力是不可估量的,拉尼尔说, noting that the Lumber has been designated one of North Carolina’s five “Wild and Scenic Rivers.”

“As an avid kayaker myself, I have spent many enjoyable hours on the Lumber River. 河中有一股恒定的水流,你可以坐在船上,一边欣赏野生动物,一边顺流而下.”

Having more outfitters would be a benefit to ecotourism growth, Lanier says.

“为我们当中运动能力较差的人准备的, 观光浮筒船可以让很多游客享受这条河, 尤其是那些可能不会划独木舟或皮艇的人. 我很想看到任何能让更多的人看到我们拥有多么美妙的自然资产的东西.”

拉尼尔希望为河流旅游总体规划提供资金,并与州立公园相结合.

琼斯说,清理河流碎片的努力大大增加了木材河成为划桨目的地的可能性.

“生态旅游部门确实需要进行评估,并将其视为一种前景,琼斯说. “它有可能急剧增加,因为资源和资金已经进入该县清理河流. The accessibility of individuals who want to take scenic tours has tremendously changed. 他们有能力进入那里,以一种多年来从未有过的方式在河流中航行.”

水质非常好,但能维持多久?

虽然像大多数沿海河流一样被单宁染成了深棕色, 木材非常干净, 约瑟夫·怀特说, 北卡罗来纳大学彭布罗克分校的生物学教授.

White grew up near the Catawba River in the foothills of North Carolina.

“The Catawba and its tributaries are just as charming and beautiful as the Lumber, 但是非常不同,怀特说. 卡托巴河的许多支流一开始都是多岩的, fast-moving mountain streams surrounded by rhododendron and mountain laurel. The larger streams and rivers they merge to create are often disturbed by channelization, 蓄水池, 河岸地带的发展, 污染, 诸如此类.

高水位淹没了北岸的码头.C. 野生动物资源委员会在费尔布拉夫登陆. Even though the water is dark with tannins, the Lumber River is remarkably clean. 水质将是未来生态旅游发展的关键. Les High摄影

“有这样一条大河是很特别的, 至少肉眼是这样的, 处于原始状态. 没有水坝的事实, 河上的开发有限, 水质仍然很高, even with all of the activity going on in the watershed and the recent storms, 真正说明了木材的真正价值. 然后再加上秃柏树和西班牙苔藓, 沼泽和湿地,真是个迷人的地方.”

怀特警告说,地方和州政府必须努力保护河流及其周围地区.

“县和市政当局可以从开发公园和像费尔布拉夫河步道这样的特色中受益,并激励新的企业,这些企业将促进生态旅游并从中受益,怀特说. “然而, I would urge counties to limit disturbance in the river’s floodplain or adjacent terraces, 而且这些发展的足迹尽可能小. Fragmentation of the forests along the river will reduce the benefits of preserving the river.”

The greatest threats to the Lumber are 污染 and the degradation of its high water quality, 白说.

“Being in a rural area that is heavily farmed and with significant livestock operations, 污染应该是一个值得关注的问题. 这是下雨时从田地、院子和停车场冲进河里的污染物. It also includes things like fertilizers and pesticides as well as oil and grease, 高地上侵蚀形成的沉积物, 以及宠物或牲畜粪便中的细菌. 这些污染物的丰度和浓度越高,这种威胁就越令人担忧.”

与保护协会的伙伴关系允许UNCP的学生和教师将受保护的财产用于学术和研究目的.

“我在想,这个地区的居民和在这里长大的人是多么热爱和关心这条河,怀特补充道. “我有幸与Lumbee的一些人一起工作, and to hear about the importance of the river in their history and culture is really moving.”

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