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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : July 26, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Ken Caplinger, Deputy Chief, Parks and Recreation Section (304) 558-2764  


Fact Sheet Information About DNR Parks and Recreation Section's

Proposed Alcohol Policy Legislative Rule

  The Parks and Recreation Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is seeking public comments about a possible rule change to amend the existing rule to give the director the authority to provide written permission to groups who rent certain state park facilities to possess beer, wine, liquor, or other alcoholic beverages for functions not open to the general public.

  Anyone wishing to comment in favor or against this proposal should send their comments to John R. Pope Jr., Chief, Parks and Recreation, Division of Natural Resources, Building 3, Room 714, State Capitol Complex, Charleston , WV 25305-0662 or e-mail comments to . A comment link also is available at the DNR and Parks Web sites at and . Comments will be received until July 29, 2005 , at noon . Only written comments will be accepted.


  After the public review and comment period closes July 29, 2005 , appropriate changes will be made to the proposed rule. They will be re-filed by the DNR for action by the Legislative Rule Making Committee prior to the 2006 Session of the West Virginia Legislature.

  To clear up misinformation about the proposal, DNR has prepared the following fact sheet:


•  The park system has never had any total ban on alcohol.

•  Beginning in the mid-80s, park system managers began to promulgate legislatively-approved rules eliminating alcohol on selected areas where unrestricted allowance of alcoholic beverages consistently caused problems. Many other areas were not listed as "Alcohol Prohibited" and never have been. In fact, alcohol is served in most state park restaurants.

•  The current proposed rule merely would allow the Director of DNR to issue special, one-time limited permits for group functions. It does not revoke the overall ban on alcohol at parks where such a ban exists and will continue. Examples might be wedding functions, wine and cheese receptions, community or park foundation fund raisers, etc. Applications for such permits will be judged upon the duration of the event, total attendance, type of beverages to be served, time of day, etc.

•  Within the past 3 or 4 years, five areas where alcohol had been totally prohibited were given special, limited exemptions within promulgated and legislatively-approved rules to allow alcoholic beverages even without benefit of a special permit. These include the multi-purpose barn at Prickett's Fort (a site of frequent fund raisers and social receptions), the Chief Logan Restaurant and Conference Center, Hawks Nest Lodge and Golf Course, within the confines of a reserved picnic shelter at Audra, and within the confines of reserved picnic shelters at Tomlinson Run.

•  This rule change is proposed due to the fact that Parks has found itself arbitrarily refusing such events even when allowance of limited alcoholic beverage consumption would have been reasonable and in no way detrimental to the park experience of other visitors while confined within certain rental facilities. There have been no problems at the five locations where similar exceptions already exist.


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