The Blue Ridge Parkway is indisputably a major economic engine for the 5th Congressional District of North Carolina, as well as elsewhere. Almost 20 million visitors come every year and drive its two-lane blacktop and buy fuel, food, lodging, and the geegaws that gladden the tourist heart, generating almost $2.3 billion in revenue annually in North Carolina and Virginia.
Even conservative Republican Senator Dick Burr realizes its economic importance for his state. Burr has signed on as cosponsor with Sen. Kay Hagan of a 75th Parkway anniversary bill which would authorize the preservation (by purchase) of up to 50,000 acres of land along the Parkway route. Heath Shuler (NC-11) is a key sponsor of the House version of this bill.
Conspicuously missing from the House bill's list of co-sponsors are two who actually represent counties through which the Parkway passes ... Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and Virginia Foxx (NC-5).
Foxx's explanation is all rigid conservative ideology. She wouldn't spend a dime, not even to help her own constituents.
The Winston-Salem Journal scolds her in an editorial this a.m.: "...we can't afford to get behind on preserving the parkway. The recession is lifting, and resort property prices will soon resume their steady climb. We should have money for land ready so that orderly development can be balanced with preservation -- our responsibility to future generations."