Wal-Mart Abandons Plans for Wilderness Supercenter

This is a great day for battlefield preservation. While driving to a meeting a short time ago, I heard on FoxNews radio that Wal-Mart has announced that it will abandon its plans to build a Supercenter adjacent to the Wilderness Battlefield. Within minutes, I received the following announcement from the Civil War Trust that details this development. If you’re not a member of the Civil War Trust, please take some time today to join. Their efforts in this fight were instrumental in the successful battle against Wal-Mart.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2011

For more information, contact:
Jim Campi, (202) 367-1861 x7205
Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231

WALMART ABANDONS PLANS TO BUILD SUPERCENTER ON WILDERNESS BATTLEFIELD

Preservation community pleased with decision by retail giant to drop plans to build a supercenter within historic boundaries of Wilderness battlefield

(Orange, Va.) – In an unexpected development, Walmart announced this morning that it has abandoned plans to pursue a special use permit previously awarded to the retail giant for construction of a supercenter on the Wilderness Battlefield.  The decision came as the trial in a legal challenge seeking to overturn the special use permit was scheduled to begin in Orange County circuit court.

“We are pleased with Walmart’s decision to abandon plans to build a supercenter on the Wilderness battlefield,” remarked James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Trust.  “We have long believed that Walmart would ultimately recognize that it is in the best interests of all concerned to move their intended store away from the battlefield.  We applaud Walmart officials for putting the interests of historic preservation first.  Sam Walton would be proud of this decision.”

The Civil War Trust is part of the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition, an alliance of local residents and national groups seeking to protect the Wilderness battlefield.  Lighthizer noted that the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition has sought from the very beginning to work with county officials and Walmart to find an alternative location for the proposed superstore away from the battlefield.

“We stand ready to work with Walmart to put this controversy behind us and protect the battlefield from further encroachment,” Lighthizer stated.  “We firmly believe that preservation and progress need not be mutually exclusive, and welcome Walmart as a thoughtful partner in efforts to protect the Wilderness Battlefield.”

In August 2009, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a controversial special use permit to allow construction of the Walmart Supercenter and associated commercial development on the Wilderness Battlefield.  A wide range of prominent individuals and organizations publicly opposed the store’s location, including more than 250 American historians led by Pulitzer Prize-winners James McPherson and David McCullough.  One month after the decision, a group of concerned citizens and the local Friends of Wilderness Battlefield filed a legal challenge to overturn the decision.

The Battle of the Wilderness, fought May 5–6, 1864, was one of the most significant engagements of the American Civil War.  Of the 185,000 soldiers who entered combat amid the tangled mass of second-growth trees and scrub in Virginia’s Orange and Spotsylvania counties, some 30,000 became casualties.  The Wilderness Battlefield Coalition, composed of Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, Piedmont Environmental Council, Preservation Virginia, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Parks Conservation Association, and Civil War Trust, seeks to protect this irreplaceable local and national treasure.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, the Trust has preserved nearly 30,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Learn more at www.civilwar.org.

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About Michael Noirot

I grew up in the Central Illinois farming community, of Dunlap. Growing up, I played sports, tinkered with cars and enjoyed photography. While I did well in school, I did not become passionate about history until my early 30's. I have built a large library, of books on early America, politics and the Civil War. I am an avid reader. Fortunately, I have had plenty of opportunities to travel, over the years, and have been to most of the Civil War battlefields. I work while I travel, so more often than not, I am up, in the middle of the night, to get sunrise pictures, or I will be out until well after dark, exploring Civil War battlefields. I have other hobbies, and passions, that I really enjoy. Number one on the list would be guitar. I play my guitars on a regular basis, and enjoy the Bluegrass, and Contemporary Christian (CCM) genres. I play a style of guitar, called FLATPICKING, where using a flat pick, you play lead solos, similar to the way a fiddle would have been played during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Laura, my wife, and I also enjoy scuba diving, travel and spending time at our property, in the country. Lastly, we spend as much time with our families, as possible. Thanks for stopping by.
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4 Responses to Wal-Mart Abandons Plans for Wilderness Supercenter

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention WALMART ABANDONS PLANS TO BUILD SUPERCENTER ON WILDERNESS BATTLEFIELD -- Topsy.com

  2. rikker2001 says:

    So glad that Walmart decided to abandon the plan for their super center encroaching on the Wilderness battlefield.

  3. DJ Paul says:

    Michael — thanks very much . I’ve supported various activities of the Civil War Preservation Trust… and especially The Wilderness Battlefield Preservation effort. But somehow missed this great news on Walmart’s decision to abandon their plans. Great news — thanks again for your post. djp

    P.S. You might enjoy a couple of my posts on the War of the Rebellion:

    http://geeksbwe.blogspot.com/2009/02/preservation-of-wilderness-battlefield.html

    http://geeksbwe.blogspot.com/2009/06/knight-in-shining-armor-at-little-round.html

    http://geeksbwe.blogspot.com/2010/09/old-34th-new-york-remembrance.html

  4. DJ,
    Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you reading my blog.

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