For June 7, 2014 Bristol Herald Courier  front page news coverage of the Dedication of the Buller Trail, click on link:  



A  new 2.5 fishing trail along the pristine water of the South Fork of the Holston River has been constructed above Buller Hatchery near Marion, Va. to provide access into the gorge, well known for its wild rainbows and browns. After three years of planning and design between the Department of Game and Inland Fishneries and the US Forest Service, construction began in July of 2012 to bulldoze the trail.


Dr. Eric Sacknoff, President of the Mountain Empire chapter of Trout Unlimited, collaborated with DGIF and the USFS and recruited members of the chapter to work over several weekends in the past year to clear trash, brush, and rocks on the trail. The American Electric Power Foundation donated $5,000 to the TU chapter to provide educational signage regarding fish species, aquatic entomology, and stream hydrology (see photo below and in Gallery).


Bill Kittrell,  of DGIF, and its former habitat specialist, Justin Laughlin, worked diligently with Dawn Kirk of the USFS and members of the chapter to make sure that the trail provides ample access to the river while preserving private property rights. A parking lot has been created at upper end of the trail for easy access, and anglers can park at the hatchery at the trail’s lower end.


Dr. Sacknoff has committed the Mountain Empire TU chapter to steward “this wonderful fishing resource of wild trout in Southwest Virginia.”  METU celebrated the opening of the trail with donors, sponsors, and volunteers on June 6.


(left to right) Steve Hmurciak of the National Forest Service works with METU members Tony Pane, Justin Laughlin, Paul York holding the Sacknoff's Ukranian Fishhound, Max