For Immediate Release: 09/23/09
Civil War Preservation Trust Supports Legal Challenge Against Wilderness Wal-Mart Proposal
(Orange, Va.) – A legal challenge to the controversial Wal-Mart supercenter proposed for the Wilderness Battlefield was filed today in the Circuit Court of Orange County. The suit was filed on behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, and residents of Orange and Spotsylvania counties. James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), issued the following statement in support of the filing:
“On behalf of the Civil War Preservation Trust and its 55,000 members, I applaud the individuals and organizations with appropriate legal standing who have stepped forward to challenge Orange County’s deeply flawed decision to permit construction of a Wal-Mart supercenter on the Wilderness Battlefield.
“While CWPT and its partners in the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition sincerely wish that litigation had not become necessary in this matter, the imminent danger posed to an irreplaceable historic site and national park necessitates legal action.
“CWPT continues to stand ready to assist Wal-Mart in finding an alternative location in Orange County for its superstore complex. We remain hopeful that Wal-Mart management, recognizing the lasting danger posed to the Wilderness Battlefield by their project, will opt to select a different site elsewhere in the county.”
With 55,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s remaining Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. Since 1987, the organization has helped save more than 28,000 acres of battlefield land in 19 states, including 685 acres in Orange County. The CWPT website is located at www.civilwar.org.