The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Huntington District is beginning the public involvement phase of the Bluestone Lake Master Plan revision. This stage is to inform the public of the revision process and receive public input. Huntington District is providing an online public participation presentation to inform and receive public input to begin the process of revising the master plan.
Normally, USACE would conduct a face-to-face public workshop to announce the start of the revision and to request comments from the public. However, precautions associated with the COVID-19 virus have made it necessary to conduct the public involvement process online instead of hosting a face-to-face workshop.
About Bluestone Lake
Bluestone Dam spans the New River at Hinton, WV forming Bluestone Lake, the third largest lake in West Virginia. At summer pool Bluestone Lake covers 2,040 acres and is 10.7 miles long. Bluestone Dam was constructed as part of the Kanawha River Basin flood control system primarily to reduce major flood damages along the New, Kanawha, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. Bluestone Dam was completed for operational purposes in January 1949 and completely finished in January 1952. Bluestone Dam has the largest drainage area, 4,565 square miles, of any dam in West Virginia. The New River begins at Blowing Rock, North Carolina and flows north through Virginia into West Virginia. The New River is the oldest river in North America and partially follows the path of the prehistoric Teays River.
What is a Master Plan?
The Master Plan is the strategic land use management document that guides the comprehensive management and development of all project recreational, natural, and cultural resources throughout the life of the water resources project. Revision of the Master Plan will not address in detail the technical operational aspects of the reservoir related to the water supply or flood risk management missions of the project. As both projects are in close proximity to each other, the revision will result in a single document addressing both projects in the form of a Regional Master Plan.
Why Revise the Bluestone Master Plan?
The current Master Plan at Bluestone Lake is outdated and do not comply with current USACE guidance regarding master plans. Changes have occurred over time and need to be captured to reflect the current and future management of the projects. The current master plans and land classifications are in need of revision to address changes in regional land use, population, outdoor recreation trends, and USACE management policy. Key topics to be addressed in the revised Regional Master Plan include revised land classifications, new natural and recreational resource management objectives, recreation facility needs, and special topics such as invasive species management and protection of sensitive wildlife habitat. Public participation is critical to the successful revision of the Master Plan.