Friends of the Rivers of Virginia
PO Box 1750
Roanoke, VA 24008

Friends of the Gauley River (FOGR)

FORVA has created a new group called Friends of the Gauley River, in West Virginia. The group is to address any and all issues related to the Gauley River.

Click on the links below to view the latest bulletins.

FOGR bulletin 7-18-05

FOGR bulletin 7-31-05

If you are interested in helping to resolve this matter, please let Bill Tanger know as soon as possible. 
Email address:  Home tel. 540-366-2228. 
If you can send a donation, make checks out to FORVA, earmarked to FOGR, and mailed to FORVA, PO Box 1750, Roanoke VA 24008. For a $100 donation, FOGR will send you a letter to use as a free pass to use Woods Ferry Road without making any further contribution! 
(FORVA is a 501(c)3 non-profit.) 

The Need for Action!

The competition for river resources in Virginia becomes more intense each year.

Increasing population and urbanization have placed many of our rivers under severe stress, exacerbating problems of pollution, low flows, toxic, habitat loss and other environmental degradation.

River resource demands are increasing from municipalities, recreation groups, utilities, industry, sportsmen and the general public.

FORVA believes it is essential to protect our scarce and diminishing river resources before they become further degraded.


FORVA is dedicated to the conservation, preservation and enhancement of Virginia's river resources.

Our goal is to provide input into the planning and coordinating of many of the projected uses of Virginia's rivers, including supplying objective information on environmental, economic, recreational, scenic and. historical values.

FORVA's activities include identifying, assessing and resolving river related problems and opportunities through research, education, communication and activism.

River Issues

  1. Preventing pollution from industry, agriculture, urban runoff and development.

  2. Protecting instream flow values through sound water planning and management for minimum impacts from withdrawals.

  3. Preserving riverine assets through conservation purchases and easements.

  4. Protecting and enhancing wildlife and fisheries habitat.

  5. Protecting aesthetic and scenic river values for recreational use.

  6. Promoting the cultural and historic values of our rivers.

  7. Preserving riverine endangered species.

  8. Providing education about problems such as acid precipitation, invasives and sedimentation.

  9. Developing effective river basin water quality management plans.

  10. Providing information on our rivers that people can easily interpret and understand.


FORVA is a coalition of groups and individuals dedicated to river protection and conservation.

Our board of directors and steering committee represent a cross section of these interests statewide, with a balance of disciplines and expertise.

FORVA provides communication and coordination for conservation groups in Virginia. We are active in the research and development of river-related legislation and regulations.

FORVA provides members with information on specific river issues as well as expertise in organizing new river protection groups.

We encourage your support and participation in protecting Virginia's precious river resources. Contributions to FORVA are tax deductible.




$15 Student


$25 Individual


$35 Group


$50 Contributing


$100 Sustaining


$500 Patron


$1000 Benefactor

Name or Group                                                                                                                          


City, State, ZIP                                                                                                                          

Tel. (Work)                                                                                                                               

Tel. (Home)                                                                                                                               



Mail application and check to:

PO Box 1750 
Roanoke, VA 24008


  • Sponsored Instream Flow (MIF) conferences to initiate MIF legislation(1988).
  • MIF State Advisory Board participation(1988).
  • MIF legislation (5 bills) became law (1989), modifying riparian law for the first time in Va. history, FORVA helped develop regulations.
  • Staunton River MIF public hearings (I989-1990) set a precedent on minimum flows for boating, fishing & riparian impacts.
  • Maury River MIF public hearing (1990) FORVA research and presentation.
  • FORVA initiates funding effort for DGIF (1992). Signed into law April 1994.
  • FORVA comments on Tier III draft regs (1993-1994). Nominates sections, attends hearings.
  • F0RVA files successfully as intervenor before the US Supreme Court on legal standing issue for Virginia citizens (1995-1997).
  • FORVA signs first conservation easement on 180 acres on New River (1996).
  • Participates in Staunton River MIF hearings (2000), stopping increased withdrawals.
  • Helps obtain funding to purchase 27 acres on New River as a primitive park (2000-2001).
  • Publishes and distributes Virginia's first State of Our Rivers Report (2001).
    Conducts statewide speaking tour on river report and river needs (2001).
  • FORVA participates in Big Island Dam relicensing, resulting in two new river access points (2003). 
  • FORVA nominates and leads successful effort for designation of Virginia's first two Tier III streams on private land (2004).
  • FORVA participates in Cushaw Dam relicensing, initiates effort for new river access (2004). 
  • Other FORVA involvement:
  • Roanoke River fish kill (Va's 2nd Largest)
  • New River FERC, re-licensing (2 dams)
  • Jackson River (Westvaco) access
  • New River power lines &..power plants
  • Roanoke River flood reduction project
  • James River Big Island Dam re-licensing
  • Statewide impaired waters mapping
  • Statewide invasive species education
  • Statewide acid rain problems
  • Statewide boating access issues
  • Statewide abandoned, dam removal

April 14, 2004

image002.jpg (36303 bytes)

FORVA Board meeting, 2003

From left: 
Rick Roth 
Karen Firehock 
Tom Miller 
Randy Lemmon 
Corbin Dixon (in whose living room we’re meeting) 
Bobbi Hinkins 
Bill Tanger 
George Hinkins (guest) 
Mack DeJarnette (guest) 
Shelton Miles (Steering Committee member)

Bill Tanger, Chairman 
Friends of the Roanoke
PO Box 1750
Roanoke, VA 24008

Rick Roth, Treasurer 
Friends of the New River 
1000 Highland Circle 
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Watkins Abbitt 
Float Fishermen of Virginia
PO Box 683 
Appomattox, VA 24522

Corbin Dixon 
Trout Unlimited
651 Barrenridge Road 
Staunton, VA 24401

Bobbie Hinkins 
Friends of North Fork 
300 Hidden Lane
Strasburg VA 22657 

Randi Lemmon 
Nat. Comm. for New River
4572 Pearman Road 
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Tom Miller 
Float Fishermen of Virginia
3809 Terjo Lane 
Chester, VA 23831



Juanita Callis
Debbie Coffin
Greg Garman
Terry Grimes
John Heerwald
Bob Hicks
Kat Imhoff
Patti Jackson
Jerry Lovelace
Nelson Mackey
Donnie Mohler
Dave Mondy
Trace Noel
Cole Poindexter
Tom Stutts
Steven Tingler
John Tippett
Greg Turner
Charles Vandervoort

Friends of the Roanoke
James River State Park
Fisheries Biologist
Jackson River Defense Fund
James River Association
Rural Planning Caucus of Va.
Float Fishermen of Virginia
Float Fishermen of Virginia
Friends of the New River
Va. Professional Paddlesport Assoc.
Staunton River Watch
Friends of the Staunton
Headwaters Watch
Friends of the Rappahannock
Blue Ridge River Runners
Friends of the Shenandoah

Cushaw Dam Project
Updated 11/21/14

Friends of the Rivers of Virginia (FORVA) has been following the Cushaw Dam Relicensing Project for some time now, although we have been unable to attend any meetings due to the fact that we are all citizen volunteers and therefore must work during those times scheduled for meetings.

FORVA represents dozens of groups of river users in Virginia. Many of them are boater organizations or include boaters in their groups. We have for years heard from many of them about the negative impacts of the Cushaw Dam on boating related use of the river. One of the biggest problems is the lack of an adequate take-out below the whitewater section of the James we call Balcony Falls.

Update: 4-20-06

Meeting Notes: 3-28-2006

Currently there are two possible take-outs. Both involve crossing the railroad tracks and one includes crossing Rt. 501, usually carrying a boat. One includes hiking up an extremely steep, slippery-when-wet trail that is impossible for some to even attempt.

In short, we have for years been trying to find a solution to this problem. Recent exploratory research into the matter may have turned up a possible crossing through a culvert, along with a possible parking area and a possible road out to Rt. 501. This would obviously depend on a number of factors, including cooperation from the US Forest Service, CSX and others.

map1.JPG (130830 bytes)

We would like to explore this and any other possible solution to this problem with the Cushaw group looking into relicensing.

Cushaw Project
Support List

February 11, 2006

  • Amherst County

  • Amherst County Recreation and Parks

  • Appomattox River Company

  • Bedford County

  • Big Island Sportsman’s Club

  • Blue Ridge Outdoors

  • Blue Ridge River Runners

  • Coastal Canoeists

  • Del. Watkins Abbitt

  • Del. Preston Bryant 

  • Del. Ben Cline

  • Del. William Fralin

  • Del. Morgan Griffith

  • Del. Albert Pollard

  • Del. Lacey Putney

  • Del. Jim Shuler

  • Del. Onzlee Ware

  • DCR (Dept. of Conservation and Recreation)

  • DGIF (Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries) 

  • Float Fishermen of Virginia

  • FORVA (Friends of the Rivers of Virginia)

  • Franklin County

  • Glasgow, Town of

  • Bruce Ingram, Outdoor Writer/Photographer

  • James River Canoe Livery

  • James River Association

  • Lynchburg City

  • Outdoor Trails Outfitters

  • Rockbridge County

  • Sen. Brandon Bell

  • Sen. Creigh Deeds

  • Sen. John Edwards

  • Sen. Steve Newman

 Total:  33 letters of support

Links to Friends

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