With hopes of cutting down on poaching, Shenandoah National Park officials will close portions of the Skyline Drive at night during Virginia's upcoming hunting season.
Shenandoah Superintendent Martha Bogle notes that this is the 30th year that the closures are being implemented, and stressed their importance at reducing illegal hunting activity within the park, a sanctuary for wildlife, during the Commonwealth's hunting season outside the park.
From November 8, 2010, through January 1, 2011, the Skyline Drive between Front Royal (Mile 0 at U.S. Highway 340) and Thornton Gap (Mile 31 at U.S. Highway 211), and between Swift Run Gap (Mile 65 at U.S. Highway 33) and Rockfish Gap (Mile 105 at U.S. Highway 250), will be closed daily between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. The central portion of the parkway, between Thornton Gap and Swift Run Gap, will remain open for overnight access to Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Campground until those facilities close on November 28. Then, beginning November 28, 2010, through January 1, 2011, the entire length of the Skyline Drive will be closed daily from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00
"Closing portions of the Skyline Drive enables rangers to concentrate patrols on problem areas and to increase contacts along the park boundary," said the superintendent.
Superintendent Bogle also reminds the public that the park has a reward program to assist in combating illegal hunting in the Park.
"A reward will be paid to anyone who furnishes information which leads to the conviction of any person who hunts, transports, or attempts to transport illegally taken wildlife within the park," she said.
Anyone with information about such activities should call the nearest ranger station or park headquarters (toll free, 1-800-732-0911; or (540) 999-2227). The identity of persons furnishing information will be kept strictly confidential, and a person does not have to reveal his or her name.