Roanoke congressman Bob Goodlatte has asked for a study to determine if Natural Bridge should become a national park. The privately owned 215-foot-high geological landmark and tourist attraction in Rockbridge County, was recently put up for sale. Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, whose 6th Congressional District includes Natural Bridge, asked the National Park Service to look into the possibility of the bridge becoming part of the National Park system. “Many people in the community are greatly concerned about the future of the iconic Natural Bridge,” Goodlatte said in a statement released today by his spokeswoman, Beth Breeding. “As a result of a request from those looking at the various options for the future of the landmark, I have asked the National Park Service to study whether it would be possible to potentially add Natural Bridge to the system under very specific parameters: 1) it would be done with private funds; 2) a conservation easement would be placed on adjoining property to protect it for the future.” Both the National Park Service and Valley Conservation Council were contacted, but neither body had an immediate comment today. The towering limestone arch, carved naturally by the creek that runs under it, has drawn visitors for hundreds of years.
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