Category:

Battlefield preservation

These nimrods just don’t know when to quit. In a colossal waste of time, money, effort, and judicial resources, they have now appealed the decision of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, whining that the Commission was wrong in making the right decision. From today’s issue of The Hanover Sun:

Mason-Dixon appeals slots decision
Gettysburg-area casino applicant may be headed for state Supreme Court
By TIM PRUDENTE

The Evening Sun
Posted: 06/20/2011 05:28:55 PM EDT

The Mason-Dixon Resort & Casino is appealing the licensing decision by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in state Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court prothonotary’s office confirmed late Monday afternoon that the Gettysburg-area applicant submitted a legal appeal to the board’s April decision to award a $5 million slots license to a resort in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“Mason-Dixon contends that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board misapplied the Gaming Act and state law, deprived Mason-Dixon of its due process rights, and disregarded or failed to consider the evidence presented,” said Mason-Dixon spokesman David La Torre.

At this time, details of the appeal are confidential because it contains the financial information of Mason-Dixon investors, according to the prothonotary’s office. This likely includes Gettysburg businessman David LeVan and partner Joseph Lashinger Jr.

Mason-Dixon had competed against three other applicants for the state’s last available slots license, which was awarded to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County.

The two other failed applicants, the Fernwood Hotel and Resort in the Poconos and the Park Inn Harrisburg West, confirmed last week that they will not appeal the decision.

The appeal has now been sent to the Supreme Court’s Pittsburgh office for review, according to the prothonotary’s office. It might take the court a week to review the appeal before a redacted version can be made public.

After that, a briefing schedule will be established and the Gaming Control Board will submit to the courts a legal defense of its decision. Officials behind the Nemacolin application also have the right to defend themselves as the most suitable candidate for the license.

It could take more than a month for the briefs to be submitted and reviewed. Then, the matter could be argued before the court. The Supreme Court will hold a session in Philadelphia in September, Pittsburgh in October, and Harrisburg in November.

“This (appeal) is a colossal waste of time and money for the investors, the state, the taxpayers and our entire community,” said No Casino Gettysburg organizer Susan Star Paddock.

Historians and preservationists have objected to the proposal because it would be located about 0.8 miles from the southern border of the Gettysburg battlefield. Many Adams County residents, though, support the plan because of the potential economic benefits.

“Because of these investors’ irrational obsession, our community and our nation may be dragged through another several years of conflict,” Paddock said.

Six of the seven members of the gaming board voted against Mason-Dixon and for Nemacolin. The lone dissenter, Commissioner Kenneth Trujillo, said he supported the Fernwood Hotel, citing its proximity to markets in New York and New Jersey.

Although Mason-Dixon has received little support from the board, La Torre has said a successful appeal must only show that facts or law used by the board is incorrect or that the board acted in an “arbitrary or capricious manner in ignoring evidence it had.”

The announcement of the appeal comes two weeks after Mason-Dixon petitioned the gaming board to amend its Order and Adjudication, the legal document that will be used to defend the licensing decision in court.

Mason-Dixon argued this document should be amended to address concerns raised in a grand jury report, which found failures in the board’s licensing process years ago.

The following day, though, the board unanimously rejected this petition on the grounds that the grand jury report did not implicate any issues related to the licensing decision, according to the board.

Gaming experts have said even if Mason-Dixon filed an appeal it’s unlikely the board will overturn the ruling, as the Nemacolin resort has been called a “textbook example” of a slots applicant.

Since the licensing decision was made, gaming board officials have said they expected an appeal to be filed, as all past decisions have been challenged.

Still, the court has never overturned a decision.

LeVan, a former president and CEO at Conrail, has proposed converting the Eisenhower Inn & Conference Center on Emmitsburg Road into a gaming resort with 600 slot machines and 50 table games.

tprudente@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, ext. 163

Quit whining and give up already. Stop wasting time, money and scarce judicial resources, and accept the fact that putting a casino in Gettysburg is grossly disrespectful of the men who fought and died there, and the fact that the vast majority of the United States sees it that way too.

Perhaps the best solution is for the General Assembly to pass the bill making it illegal to put a casino within ten miles of Gettysburg. Perhaps that will FINALLY end this nonsensical whining.

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Astonishingly, David LeVan and his other supporters have refused to give up the ghost on the Gettysburg casino. Instead of gracefully and graciously accepting defeat and moving on to some other more productive project, they’re now considering appealing the decision of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

From yesterday’s Gettysburg Times:

Pa. Gaming board: Casino decision stays

No reason given for denial. Appeal may be next.

Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:14 pm | Updated: 12:45 pm, Thu Jun 9, 2011.

BY SCOT ANDREW PITZER Times Staff Writer

The state’s Gaming Control Board unanimously rejected a request Wednesday morning by Gettysburg-area casino developers to reconsider a licensing process that was called unfair and flawed.

As a result, investors behind the denied Mason Dixon Resort & Casino in Cumberland Township may appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach said the seven-member panel will release a written adjudication over the next week that will explain why it turned down the request.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday morning at the State Museum in Harrisburg, after an hour-long hearing

Mason Dixon spokesman David La Torre said following the board’s vote that his group is undecided over whether to file an appeal, but that one is “absolutely” under consideration.

An appeal would not be surprising, since every other licensing decision made by the state since gambling was legalized has been contested in court. The board awarded a slots license to the Nemacolin Resort (Woodlands Fayette) in mid-April over three competitors, including Gettysburg, and then issued its written explanation one month later. Only about a week remains until the appeal window closes.

“We are disappointed. This is a blow for transparency,” La Torre said after the board’s meeting in Harrisburg. La Torre cited a Grand Jury investigation that reviewed alleged deficiencies the Gaming Board’s licensing process. The report was not made public until after board awarded a casino license to Nemacolin, over Gettysburg and two other projects, prompting Mason Dixon investors to file the “petition for reconsideration” Tuesday.

“The grand jury report raised serious questions about how licenses were awarded in 2006,” explained La Torre. “The public is left no other option than to take the board’s word that it was different this time. The fact remains, Pennsylvania’s system for awarding gaming licenses is among the most secretive in the world.”

The Nemacolin Resort in southwest Pennsylvania cannot break ground on the casino until the appeals process concludes. Project spokesman Jeff Nobers said his group isn’t concerned about the recent legal action.

“They (Mason Dixon) are basing their petition on the Grand Jury report which in no manner mentions or refers to the awarding of the most recent Category 3 license to Nemacolin,” said Nobers. “The issues raised in this report are all prior to this process.”

No Casino Gettysburg spokesman Susan Star Paddock said Mason Dixon is “grasping at straws” and “continuing to drag our community” into what she called a “hopeless and destructive request.”

Gaming advocate Richard Kitner, of Pro Casino Adams County said his group has “supported Mason Dixon in the past and we continue to support Mason Dixon now,” regardless of the outcome in the appeals process.

State gambling regulators chose the 2,000-acre Nemacolin Resort for the license in western Pennsylvania, calling it the “best fit” for the license, with the potential to generate the most new revenue for the state, as it draws 350,000 visitors annually, and is located the farthest from other Pennsylvania casinos. Opposition was cited in denying the Gettysburg-area project, although its proximity to the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park was not a factor in the decision. The casino would have been managed by Penn National Gaming.

Groups in the Poconos and Mechanicsburg that were also denied the license are still deciding whether to file an appeal.

Give it up. Simply accept the fact that the bulk of the world, including the Gaming Commission, thinks that Gettysburg is the LAST place where a casino should be placed. Get it through your thick, stupid skulls already.

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Take a look at Craig Swain’s excellent report on the Stevensburg road widening project that will significantly impact an important portion of the Brandy Station battlefield. Not surprisingly, the new president and board of the Brandy Station Foundation have committed another epic failure by refusing to take a stand against the demolition of yet more of the battlefield that they have sworn an oath to protect. Why? Because, according to them, we must never, ever, ever do anything that could be construed as ruffling the feathers of the local landowners.

EPIC FAIL.

It is now quite clear that the BSF and its present officers and board members have made themselves entirely irrelevant by abrogating their obligation to preserve the battlefield.

It’s time for all true battlefield preservation organizations to disavow these pretenders if they won’t resign. And it’s clear that they won’t. If they do resign, those who wish to destroy the battlefield will lose their advocates and protectors.

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Today is the 148th anniversary of the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent, the Battle of Brandy Station. For fourteen long hours that day, approximately 21,000 Union and Confederate cavalrymen slugged it out. Fleetwood Hill–the most fought over piece of real estate in the United States–was the vortex of much of that fighting.

I wonder what the veterans who sacrificed so much on June 9, 1863 would think of that hideous McMansion that disrupts their battlefield, and I wonder if they would be as horrified by Lake Troilo as I am.

We know that the board of trustees and president of the Brandy Station Foundation don’t care–they couldn’t possibly ever think of interfering with private property rights and agricultural activities, even if those activities destroy ground zero of the battlefield. For shame.

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Craig Swain, a former member of the board of trustees of the Brandy Station Foundation, has written an excellent and concise summary of his concerns about, and dealings with, Joseph McKinney and the rest of the appeasers on the board. I commend it to you. It can be found here. Well said, Craig. It is indeed a tragedy when a preservation organization ceases doing preservation work on the battlefield it is supposedly the steward for. It’s an even greater tragedy when a preservation organization begins to oppose the very preservation work it was created to perform.

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John Hennessy, who as chief historian for the Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville/Wilderness/Spotsylvania battlefield complex, knows a bit about battlefield preservation, also left a very succinct and well-put comment on the post where I described the ill-advised and wrong-headed policy declaration by the BSF. John began by quoting the BSF statement, drafted to supposedly allay our concerns that the BSF is on top of things, and then reacted to it:

“Frequently landowners are required to obtain permits before making improvements or undertaking certain agricultural activities. We view the permit process primarily as an issue between the landowner and the governmental agency exercising legal or regulatory authority over the matter.”

While anyone may choose to view the permit process as an issue between the landowner and the agency, the law in play here–Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act–views it VERY differently. The law REQUIRES the permitting agency (in this case the Corps) to seek the input of the public in its review of projects. The law is written to encourage precisely the sort of public input that BSF has apparently eschewed.

Preservation groups have very few legal tools at hand to accomplish preservation; section 106 is by far the most useful. The idea that a preservation organization would publicly proclaim its intent NOT to use the major legal tool at its disposal might well be unprecedented.

Well said, John, and an excellent description of precisely how badly the BSF has strayed from its stated mission of protecting the battlefield.

The board of the BSF, in its rush to appease Tony Troilo, failed to consult with its pro bono legal counsel to determine whether there might be a regulatory impact (or weapon to use to prevent) of the destruction of Fleetwood Hill. Mr. McKinney and his board clearly know nothing of, or care about, the tools that are available to protect the battlefield. How can someone possibly serve as the president of a battlefield preservation group, but yet be as clueless about the fundamental governing regulations and the tools available as Mr. McKinney appears to be?

The arrogance of the president and board of the BSF is truly staggering. Thanks for pointing that out so eloquently, John.

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A particularly insightful comment was left on this blog pertaining to the outrageously inappropriate policy statement issued by the BSF:

Mike Stevens, the president of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust–a legitimate battlefield preservation group that has done some fabulous work in the Fredericksburg area–wrote:

Surely no one who understands what this ground means to us and to our country would allow its destruction and desecration without standing up and saying, “No!”

Surely any battlefield preservation organization with its priorities straight would do the same.

It appears that the only positive thing stemming from this unfortunate incident is to show how a preservation organization should NOT act.

That sums it all up quite succinctly and quite well. Shame on you, Joe McKinney, and shame on all of the members of the BSF board that voted for the worst appeasement since Neville Chamberlain at Munich.

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The Brandy Station Foundation published this policy on its web site today in response to the Lake Troilo incident:

BRANDY STATION POSITION
LANDOWNER IMPROVEMENTS AND AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES

The strategic goals of the Brandy Station Foundation include “Preserv[ing] and protect[ing] the Brandy Station and Kelly’s Ford Battlefields and related sites of historical significance for the appreciation and education of future generations.”

The Foundation does not support commercial or residential development on historic battlefield property, and in the past has opposed developers before governmental agencies and in the courts. This last occurred in 2005 when Golden Oaks, a development company, purchased eighteen acres on the western approach to Fleetwood Hill with the intent of subdividing the land and building a dozen dwellings. In that endeavor the Foundation was successful and the Golden Oaks tract is now protected.

However, in pursuing our goals, we are mindful that landowners have certain rights with regard to the property that they own. As a result, we believe that it is generally not productive to officially oppose common property improvements, particularly when those improvements are reversible. Also, we do not oppose landowners who conduct agricultural activities on battlefield property. We freely acknowledge that such improvements and agricultural actions may be contrary to the personal views of some of our members and supporters.

Frequently landowners are required to obtain permits before making improvements or undertaking certain agricultural activities. We view the permit process primarily as an issue between the landowner and the governmental agency exercising legal or regulatory authority over the matter. However, the Board of Directors is prepared to consider each matter individually, and to provide the Brandy Station Foundation’s official position to the appropriate governmental agency if warranted.

We of the Brandy Station Foundation believe that all people, even those whose opinions or actions we may disagree with, should be treated with courtesy and respect.

Board of Directors
Brandy Station Foundation
May 16, 2011

Mr. McKinney has told several of the former board members that he believes that the wonton destruction caused by the digging of Lake Troilo is “reversible”. How it’s possible to reverse that sort of damage–after the dirt has been turned, the artifacts dug up, etc., is a complete and total mystery to me.

Never mind that this policy expressly contradicts the organization’s stated mission statement, which is: “Our goal is to ensure the history and heritage of the area is not ‘paved over’ in our rush to progress.” It seems to me that not opposing development of core battlefield land like Lake Troilo is directly in conflict and in contradiction of the stated mission of the organization. In short, it is nothing more than a complete abrogation of the stated mission–and sacred duty–of the organization, all in the interest of appeasement.

Can you say “sell out”, boys and girls?

The whole agricultural thing is a dodge–the original spinning of Lake Troilo was that it was to be expanded for agricultural purposes, but that’s utter horse hockey.

So much for the Brandy Station Foundation as a legitimate battlefield preservation organization. Let’s play taps for what used to be a great organization that used to do great preservation work before it decided that appeasement was the best course of action. By publishing this wrong-headed and ill-advised policy statement, it has officially lost all credibility as a preservation organization and should immediately lose the support of LEGITIMATE preservation organizations like the Civil War Trust, the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust, or the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation.

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Todd Berkoff, one of the board members of the Brandy Station Foundation who resigned because of the election of Joseph McKinney, left this particularly astute and insightful comment here yesterday. It explains why Mr. McKinney needs to resign as president of the BSF. The reasons are simple: he is not interested in preserving the battlefield.

As one of the board members of The Brandy Station Foundation (BSF) for 2010-2011 who resigned in protest over Mr. Joseph McKinney’s elevation to president, I can tell you that I, along with my other colleagues who resigned, assessed last month–before he led the group–that Mr. McKinney was not interested in making the protection of the battlefield a priority. And the other board members were more interested in allowing ghost hunters to look for “ghost cats” in the Grafitti House than protect a battlefield where young men gave their last full measure of devotion. I’m not even kidding about the ghost cat…there is paranormal group investigating the house this month.

The “Board in Exile” made this prediction about Mr. McKinney and his new direction for the BSF over four weeks ago — and now our fears and predictions have come true. However, I am surprised–and elated–it took as little as three weeks for him to show his true colors. I don’t want to say “We told you so,” but guess what folks, “We told you so!”

Some of us did research on Mr. McKinney during the nomination process earlier this year and soon discovered he had a twisted view of historic preservation. See his perplexing op-ed in the Washington Post from 2009, and his posting on this blog last year defending the McMansion on Fleetwood Hill. It is unclear to me how a man who leads one of the country’s oldest battlefield preservation groups could condone Disney’s America theme park, the Wal-Mart at the Wilderness, the McMansion on Fleetwood Hill, the widening of Route 3 in Stevensburg, and also participates in massive relic hunts on the very battlefield he was charged to protect. Yes, folks, he is a relic hunter too.

A recurring theme in Mr. McKinney’s strange argument for his stances on preservation is that we, as good citizens, are powerless to do anything against what landowners wish to do on their own property, so why bother making a fuss. Well sir, that is where you are wrong. As Bud Hall demonstrated this week, you can require the landowner to abide by proper regulations — which the landowner had not done.

If people took your appeasement view on preservation, then there would be a mall at Manassas, a casino at Gettysburg, and a racetrack at Brandy Station. As a result of the quick actions taken by the “Board in Exile” this week–led by the indomitable Bud Hall–the Army Corps of Engineers has compelled Mr. Troilo to cease further construction of his pond that rumor has it was intended for his jet skiing hobby. Stopped at least for now.

How embarrassing that the current president and board FAILED MISERABLY to even issue a simple statement of protest over the last two weeks! But more alarming is that Mr. McKinney knew about this project for some time and chose to not to oppose it because Mr. Troilo is a friend and influential member of the community. This is a clear conflict of interest, as Eric has rightly pointed out. Mr. McKinney and current members of the Board should be ashamed of themselves, and if you had any integrity whatsoever, you should resign from the organization and join the local crochet group and leave battlefield preservation to those who actually care.

Because I think it’s important that you see Mr. McKinney’s own words, here is the op-ed piece from The Washington Post that Todd mentioned:

Posted at 9:58 AM ET, 08/ 6/2009
If Not Wal-Mart… ?
By washingtonpost.com editors

By Joseph W. McKinney
Brandy Station

The controversy over the “Wilderness Wal-Mart” proposed in Virginia’s Orange County reminds me of the time in the 1990s when the Walt Disney Co. proposed building a theme park in western Prince William County.

The site that Disney selected was not historically significant, but it was only a few miles from the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Preservationists, concerned that increased traffic and sprawl would degrade the experience of visitors to the battlefield, rose in opposition.

After intense lobbying and public relations campaigns waged by both sides, Disney canceled its plans.

Today, instead of Disney’s theme park, residential developments line Route 15 from Haymarket to the Loudoun County line. Along Route 55, Gainesville and Haymarket have essentially merged, joined together by retail establishments and housing. Instead of tourists, the roads — including those running through the Manassas battlefield — are choked with commuters.

The drive along the base of the Bull Run Mountains used to be pleasurable. Now it is stultifying. I support battlefield preservation, and I even wrote a book about the Battle of Brandy Station, but sometimes, as I sit in traffic on the way to Leesburg, I think we might have been better off with the theme park instead of the houses.

That leads me to wonder: If Wal-Mart is not acceptable near the Wilderness battlefield, what is? Is a strip mall better than a Wal-Mart? What about 500 single-family dwellings? The people of Orange County deserve an answer to these questions as the review of Wal-Mart’s proposal proceeds.

By washingtonpost.com editors | August 6, 2009; 9:58 AM ET

This, coming from the man who is supposed to be the head of a battlefield preservation organization? Do these words suggest that he cares even the slightest bit about saving the battlefield?

And finally, I give you a piece of one of the nasty e-mails that I received from Mrs. McKinney last week that spells out the family’s preservation philosophy quite clearly and quite succinctly:

As an avid foxhunter and as a resident in the community of Brandy Station, I understand that in Virginia, land ownership is everything. The rights of landowners to do what they wish with their own property trumps everything. That is an acknowledged fact. If someone wants a landowner to listen to his opinion on what he should do with his own land, he had better be prepared to reason with him.

Were this true, the Brandy Station battlefield would either be a Formula-1 racetrack or an industrial park now. Were this true, the Wilderness would have a gigantic Wal-Mart store being built. Were this true, there would be an immense Disney theme park butting up against the Bull Run battlefield, overwhelming an area where the road network already can’t handle the volume of traffic it must sustain. Were this true, all of the Cedar Creek battlefield would be a rock quarry now. I could go on, but you get the idea. The fact is that Mrs. McKinney’s claim that the rights of landowners to do what they wish with their property trumps everything is clearly NOT true, as the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers plainly demonstrated yesterday. Battlefield preservation is NOT about appeasement, as the McKinneys believe. It’s about being aggressive and being proactive and doing whatever has to be done to prevent the destruction of core battlefield land, and if someone’s feathers gets ruffled in the process, that’s too damned bad. In the view of the McKinneys, feather-ruffling is apparently something to be avoided at all costs, even if it means that core battlefield land at the base of Fleetwood Hill is turned into a lake because the good friend of the McKinneys who owns the land has to be appeased at ALL costs.

This bizarre laissez-faire attitude of Mr. McKinney plainly and amply demonstrates that this man is NOT committed to battlefield preservation unless it promotes fox-hunting or doesn’t annoy the local landowners. That’s not how to save a battlefield. You do whatever has to be done, and if that means calling the Army Corps of Engineers and annoying the neighbors, it’s what you do.

I think it is entirely possible that REAL battlefield preservation organizations, such as the Civil War Trust, will completely disavow and disenfranchise the BSF unless these wrong-headed and ill-advised policies are abandoned, and that would be a disaster.

Mix in the huge and irreconcilable conflict of interest that I pointed out here last week, and it becomes painfully clear that this man has NO business heading the BSF, and that his continued leadership of it will cause irreparable harm to an organization that has a twenty-plus year record of tremendous success in saving battlefield land that resulted from active and aggressive action and leadership.

Mr. McKinney, it’s time for you to either resign or to limit yourself to simply running the Graffiti House and leave the real work of preserving the battlefield to those of us who have the nerve and the fire in our bellies to do it.

UPDATE, 6:30 P.M.: Below are three photographs of Lake Troilo taken this afternoon after a long day of heavy rain. If there wasn’t a major erosion problem before, there most assuredly is now. Shame on you, Joe McKinney, and shame on you, BSF board, for sitting on your hands and allowing this sort of desecration to happen without so much as making a peep about it. Resign. Now.

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As I mentioned here last week, Bud Hall–NOT the president or board of the Brandy Station Foundation, which should be doing this sort of work–called the Army of Corps of Engineers about the destruction of critical battlefield land at Fleetwood Hill on the Brandy Station battlefield.

Here is the damage done to Fleetwood Hill:

Note the hideous McMansion in the background. To see larger images, just click on the photos.

The Corps of Engineers did an inspection and has acted. Here is the letter that was sent to the landowner, Tony Troilo:

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
NORFOLK DISTRICT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS
FOR NORFOLK, 803 FRONT STREET
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA 23510-1096

May 13, 2011

Northern Virginia Regulatory Section (Flat Run)
NAO-2011-990

Mr. Tony Troilo
[address deleted]

Dear Mr. Troilo:

On May 11, 2011, Mr. Hal Wiggins of my staff visited your 60-acre property located off Route 685 near Brandy Station in Culpeper County, Virginia. Based on this site visit there appears to be earthmoving activities by bulldozer in and adjacent to approximately 600 linear feet of a perennial stream, known as Flat Run. It is our understanding that you intend to construct a private pond. Our office was notified regarding your recent work in Flat Run. Flat Run is a perennial tributary to Rappahannock River and is a water of the United States regulated pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

Please be advised that the unauthorized discharge of fill material in Flat Run is in direct violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), which requires a Department of the Army permit prior to initiating work in the waters of the United States.

In addition, we have been advised by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that your unauthorized work has occurred within the Brandy Station Battlefield Historic District, a property that is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In accordance with Corps regulations 33 CFR 320-330, no work can be authorized in waters of the United States which may affect historic properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places unless and until the Norfolk District has complied with the provisions of 33 CFR 325, Appendix C.

This letter constitutes formal notice to you to cease and desist any unauthorized activities in Flat Run.

To facilitate my investigation of your activities, you are requested to provide in writing your reasons for placing fill in waters of the United States, the dates that fill was placed in these waters and the contractor who performed the work, the dates the work was performed, a copy of any state or local authorizations for this work, the reasons why this work was performed without Department of the Army authorization, and a copy of any wetland and/or stream delineations prepared for this property. Your written responses to these questions must be received by this office within fifteen days of receipt of this letter. We request that you assist us in resolving this matter.

In the interim, you must install any appropriate silt fences, hay bales, and/or check dam, and take any action required by Culpeper County pursuant to State Sediment and Erosion Control standards to control sedimentation in Flat Run in order to prevent impacts to downstream water quality. Mr. Wiggins can assist you in determining appropriate interim measures.

We are sending a copy of this letter to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Culpeper County.

As soon as my investigation has been completed, you will be notified in writing as to any further action that may be required. In the interim, should you have any questions, please contact Mr. Hal Wiggins at xxx-xxx-xxxx or xxxxxxxxx@usace.army.mil.

Sincerely,

Nicholas L. Konchuba
Chief, Northern Virginia
Regulatory Section

The emphasis is in the original of Mr. Konchuba’s letter.

And so the destruction of Flat Run has been halted, but major damage has been done that will require extensive remediation in order to restore it to its previous condition, all of which will be at Mr. Troilo’s expense. Mr. Troilo will be required to hire an approved consultant to develop a restoration plan, and that plan will have to be approved by the Corps of Engineers. There will likely also be a fine involved too.

Halting the destruction of the battlefield has been the work of the dedicated FORMER members of the board of directors of the BSF. Specifically, this was done by the people who resigned from the board in protest over the election of Joseph McKinney. There has been a complete and total abrogation by the BSF of its duty to protect the battlefield by the organization that is tasked with doing so.

Mr. McKinney, you have allowed your conflict of interest to get in the way of the preservation of the battlefield, and have permitted permanent decimation of core battlefield land. Do the honorable thing and resign, as you have no business being at the head of a battlefield preservation organization.

UPDATE, MAY 17, 2011: The press is now onto this story. An article on this appears in The Fredericksburg Freelance-Star today.

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