National Park Deeds Signed By Governor
To Open 'Skyline'
Federal authority for the opening of the Skyline Drive, as suggested some months ago by President Roosevelt after viewing the scenic highway in Virginia's Shenandoah Park area, should be forthcoming soon, Governor Peery indicated yesterday after deeds conveying the area to the United States as a national park had been signed by him and the State Commission on Conservation and Development.
The deeds signed have been approved by the Department of the Interior and the attorney-general's office here and will be sent on to the attorney-general of the United States for final approval.
Technical difficulties concerned with descriptions of easements contained in some deeds invalidated deeds signed by Virginia officials about a month ago. No further delay is anticipated.
Signatures on the deeds were those of the governor, William E. Carson, chairman of the conservation commission; Richard A. Gilliam, secretary; and Peter Saunders, secretary of Commonwealth.
The approximately 179,000 acres comprising the area were conveyed in furtherance of the terms of an act of the 1932 General Assembly entitled the "National Park Act." Little ceremony accompanied the signing.
Further formalities necessary to complete creation of the national park will include the following: The documents, three in number, to which the signatures and the Great Seal of the Commonwealth were attached, now go to Washington to the Department of the Interior. They have already been approved by the Federal Park Service. From the Interior Department they go to the attorney-general and finally to the President.
The deeds themselves are in the form of three leader-bound books. Accompanying them are eight folders of muniments--the actual deeds--to be examined in Washington.
While the transfer of the land--in Warren, Rappahannock, Page, Madison, Rockingham, Greene, Albemarle, and Augusta counties--is permanent, Virginia will retain the right to tax and police the area after fugitives and residents of the park area will vote as citizens of Virginia.
Members and ex-members of the conservation comission witnessed the signing.
The governor greeted Chairman Carson, who said of the documents, "They have been approved by the United States Park Service, your excellency."
The governor wrote his name across the bottom of the three books, then handed the pen around to the other signatories.
"Well gentlemen," said the governor, as the signing was ended, "this is the largest land transfer in the recent history of Virginia. It makes the creation of the largest national park in the East. I do not know what regulations the Federal government will put into effect but I am sure the park will be a source of healthful recreation to the people of Virginia. I hope that the roads may be completed within the shortest possible time and the park officially opened for the public."
He congratulated Mr. Carson and the others of the commission for their efforts in making possible the park. Among commission members present were: Lee Long of Dante; T.L.Farrel of Charlottesville; E.G. Dodson of Norfolk; and Rufus Roberts of Culpeper.