Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy
People and Wildlife Living in Harmony

    July 2009

Banshee Reeks and the Woods Road Realignment

Please Take Action by Attending this Public Input Session: On Wednesday, July 29 at 7pm, Supervisor Kurtz, along other members of the county, will hold a public meeting to hear the county's plans to realign the Woods Road. This is a serious threat to the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve.The location for the meeting is 215 Depot Court in Leesburg. Please come out to show your support for Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve!

Loudoun County claims that the landfill's expansion requires that The Woods Road be shifted from its current location into the preserve itself. If this occurs it could seriously harm the preserve's natural values and destroy a rare natural habitat.

First we need to ask if this relocation is necessary at all. The county claims it is necessary based on a special exception that was passed over 15 years ago. Lots has changed since then and it is hard to believe that this still the case especially when one considers how valuable and special the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is.

Meadow area through Banshee Reeks
If The Woods Road is realigned into the Preserve it will:

Tree Swallow from the nestbox trail
1) Seriously degrade, if not destroy, a rare natural habitat, a Mountain/Piedmont Basic Seepage Swamp, of which there are only 12 examples known in Virginia.

2) Seriously impair the integrity of the entire natural preserve which is a mix various different kinds of habitats including the large, intact upland forest that The Woods Road would bisect. It will disrupt wildlife habitat, destroy wetlands and other sensitive areas.

3) Create a paved road with a minimum speed limit of 35/mph right next to a natural area and result in excessive and unnecessary amounts of roadkill.
4) Destroy an historic road that has existed for over two centuries and linked the Carolina Road to Oatlands Plantation.

5) Possibly destroy other archaeological treasures along this historic road.

6) Violate an existing Virginia Outdoor Foundation conservation easement.

Box Turtle along the Woods Road
At the March 2008 meeting on The Woods Road, in response to concerns raised by its citizens, the county indicated they would create a transparent process and involve various stakeholders in the development of their plans for The Woods Road. Inexcusably this has not happened. To our knowledge the public has not been involved in any of the deliberations that have occurred since March 2008. This is not a transparent process and is indicative of a county handling business as they always have and ignoring citizens and their concerns for the environment.

The Woods Road as it exists today is an historic dirt road steeped in both natural and cultural history that forces people who drive on it to slow down; to protect the treasure that is Banshee Reeks, it should stay the same.

Please attend this meeting! Let's fill the room and show our support for Banshee Reeks! In addition, email your Supervisor bos@loudoun.gov and let them know how much you value Banshee Reeks and keeping it as it is!

For more information about Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy
and our programs, visit our website

All of the photographs shown on this announcement were taken here in Loudoun County.
The beauty of nature surrounds us.