High Five – A Dozen New River Valley Challenges

From Bob GilesHigh Five from Handshake 2.0:

Within the context of an unbelievable convergence of national and state challenges, people within the state government as well as the people within the “Valley” or watershed have the following dozen challenges that must be addressed more vigorously than ever if the people of the Valley are to achieve their potentials:

  1. Interstate issues at the headwaters in North Carolina counties (parks, land use, clean water, electricity generating capacity) and as the New River flows into West Virginia (pollution, floods)
  2. Water pollution, the river and tributaries reaching legal limits of dissolved solids
  3. Land pollution, “brown fields” and sub-surface pollution. [50% of the area is classified as Karst topography (lands with sink holes and underlying limestone caverns and channels)]
  4. Population centers are over Karst, thus with threats to pollution and land collapse
  5. Urban sprawl onto prime agricultural lands
  6. Increasing water withdrawals from the river and aquifers and new demands for piping water to distant areas now suffering droughts
  7. Declining rural and small-town populations
  8. High infant mortality and high juvenile abuse rates
  9. Dispersed communities with limited rail and highway routes for energy-efficient transportation of goods or services
  10. A host of ecological issues: climate change, shifting ecosystem productivity, invasive species, endangered species,
  11. The 12-year decline of coal mining in Central Appalachia
  12. Increasing drug problems


Robert H. Giles, Jr. writes High Five for Handshake 2.0, a technology business news and Web 2.0 services enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated, a member company of business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks.  The opinions Robert Giles expresses are solely his own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0 or its sponsors or advertisers. 

You can follow Robert H. Giles, Jr. on Twitter @Bob_Giles

Robert H. Giles, Jr. is a Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus with a vision for a rural land management system.  He writes two blogs, The Survivalists and Faunal Force. 


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