FONSI: New River Center POWER project

 Date of Publication: July 9, 2021 


Giles County River/Trail Center Project 

Giles County is partnering with Friends of Southwest Virginia, Mountain Lake Lodge, the Virginia Departments of Transportation (VDOT) and Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to construct a new River/Trail/Visitors Center. The Center will include changing facilities, restrooms, and other amenities to support the outdoor recreational economy. The building is anticipated to be 1,500-2,000 square-foot, located to the south-west of Mountain Lake Outfitters Gift Shop and Doe Creek Road. A second phase of the project involves a new hiking trail that will meander nearly 2-miles, connecting the new Center to the top of Bald Knob. 

The new Center will be the nucleus for information on the myriad of outdoor recreational opportunities and services in Giles County. The Center will offer a new shuttle service that connects visitors to hiking trails, mountain biking systems, and paddling launch locations throughout the County. Once complete, the new Center will be co-operated by Giles County and Mountain Lake Lodge. 

This notice shall satisfy procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by The Department of Housing and Community Development. 

Finding of No Significant Impact 

The Friends of Southwest Virginia (project Grantee) has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR). The ERR will be made available for review either via,, or provided upon request electronically via email or by U.S. mail. Please submit your request by U.S. mail to Krystal Mosely, Friends of Southwest Virginia, One Heartwood Circle, Abingdon, VA, 24210 or by email to 


Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the ERR. Objections must be prepared and submitted via email in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to Kathi Boatright (, Community Development Specialist, with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). 

All comments received by August 11, 2021 will be considered by DHCD, who will not release any ARC funds or take any administrative action on the within project prior to said date. Potential objectors should contact DHCD via email to verify the actual last day of the objection period. Comments should specify which aspect of the environmental review they are addressing. 


The Department of Housing and Community Development certifies to State of Virginia that name of Erik Johnston in his capacity as Director consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. The State of Virginia’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the Friends of Southwest Virginia to use Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) Program funds. 

Comments must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedure (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76), and may be addressed to: 

Mr. Erik Johnston, Director
c/o Kathi Boatright, Community Development Specialist
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Attention: Project Administration and Assistance Office
468 East Main Street, Suite 300
Abingdon, Virginia 24210
276-274-7774 / Virginia Relay Center 7-1-1