P. O. Box 519
Granville WV 26534-0519


Wednesday 7 February 2001

Senator Robert C. Byrd
311 Senate Hart Office Building

Washington DC 20510


Dear Senator Byrd

Enclosed is a copy of Arthur Parker's book, THE MONONGAHELA, published in 1999. And, by copy of this letter, I'm also sending a copy of this fine book to Representative Mollohan. Before I hit on some portions of the book, let me mention a couple other "lock hours" matters.

Per your letter of 18 January, it'll be interesting to see the response of the US Army Corps of Engineers headquarters folks in Washington, to the amendments to the draft National Recreation Lakes Act as proposed in my 5 January letter to you. Second, I will have the twenty years of lockage data for the four Upper Mon locks analyzed and evaluated before the end of this month. The hardest parts of the report are done, and, most of the rest is "crank-turning!"

Our Upper Monongahela Committee for Better Boating also hopes that Representative Mollohan will agree to meet with our Ex Com in Fairmont at his convenience. We also hope that our West Virginia congressional delegation will participate in the recreational boating caucuses being organized in the House and in the Senate. We feel that the draft National Recreation Lakes Act, amended per our desires, is the appropriate legislative vehicle for addressing the concerns of our committee.

Now, let me point out some interesting items in Mr. Parker's book. (1) On page two, in the second and third paragraphs, Mr. Parker points out how our portion of the Mon in WV is the "scenic Mon" with great recreational opportunities. (2) On photo comment on page 15, "The Pennsylvania Monongahela has more history; West Virginia's Monongahela has more beauty." (3) On page 18, Mr. Parker notes the adverse impact of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1992 on Mon River coal commerce. (4) On page 30, Mr. Parker notes how one can travel from Fairmont WV to Fort Benton, Montana! (5) Starting on page 88, Mr. Parker notes the growth of river recreational boating on the Mon, north of the Point Marion lock and dam. We need to foster this same recreational boating on the Upper Mon in West Virginia, by ensuring that the Point Marion and Morgantown locks remain open all day all year, and, that the Hildebrand and Opekiska locks are open all day during the 1 May - 31 October recreational boating season. Currently, Hildebrand and Opekiska are open day shift only all year, which cramps boating and fishing recreation. It would cost about $250,000 per year to keep Hildebrand and Opekiska open all day during the six month boating recreation season! (6) Note, per page 90, the revival of fishing on the Mon. (7) And, Senator Byrd, Mr. Parker recognizes you on page 94 for your support of river issues!! (8) Mr. Parker recognizes the flood control importance of the Stonewall and Tygart dams, on pages 110 and 111. (9) On page 124, Mr. Parker recognizes the Mon River Buffs. Dr. J. K. Folmar, retired emeritus professor of history, California University of Pennsylvania, currently heads the Mon River Buffs. JK also attended our Ex Com meeting of the Upper Mon Committee for Better Boating, held at my hovel here in Granville this past Sunday! (10) At the top of page 148, Mr. Parker waxes eloquent re the beauty of the Mon in West Virginia! He is right, and, we in West Virginia need to capitalize on this advantage, when it comes to boating and fishing recreation, tourism, long distance boating up to Fairmont, etc!!! (11) On page 160, Mr. Parker mentions Tom Bell's historical novel, OUT OF THIS FURNACE. Thanks to Norm Julian, columnist with the Morgantown Dominion Post, and, good friend, I've read this book!! (12) Mr. Parker mentions the Heritage Corporation located in Homestead, PA. We need to give consideration to establishing a like corporation for the Upper Mon in West Virginia! (13) Mr. Parker discusses, beginning on page 182, the GATEWAY CLIPPER excursion boats located at Pittsburgh. We of course see these guys on the Upper Mon, when local groups can afford to charter them. But, we perhaps, over five to ten years, could develop our own modest version of the Gateway Clippers, ported on the Upper Mon, IF we would ensure that the Upper Mon will have all day access to the Upper Mon locks during the recreational boating season!! (14) On page 187, Mr. Parker espouses the obvious recreational potential for the Mon! Would that we on the Upper Mon would so capitalize on that potential!!! (15) Note that at the bottom of page 192, Mr. Parker states that the Mon carries, citing the US Army Corps of Engineers, as much tonnage as the Rhine and Thames in Europe! (16) Finally! Read Mr. Parker's Epilogue on page 195!

Senator, I'm sure that you and Representative Mollohan will enjoy THE MONONGAHELA, by Arthur Parker.



cc w/encl:
Representative Mollohan

cc w/o encl:
All four lock hours email lists