Vital Vigilance

Adobetown road, plwa, public access, virginia city

Showing up when it matters most.

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing. —John Stuart Mill

There’s a lot of history surrounding Adobetown Rd. in Madison County. It was established as a county road (County Rd. #71) in 1871, providing access to public ground. Recently, there was an attempt to squash this access. A landowner whose property borders Adobetown locked a gate across the road, put up No Trespassing signs, and filed a request to have the route officially abandoned. Instead of demanding the landowner unlock and remove the gate, Madison County heeded the landowner’s wish and began formal proceedings for road abandonment. Until PLWA got involved, that is.

Word started to spread when local resident Andy Thomas notified the nonprofit after he was refused access on Adobetown multiple times—on one occasion, he was even issued a trespassing citation by the county sheriff. In October 2021, the Madison County Commission held a meeting on the matter and was met with strong public opposition. Since this issue was cast out in the light, the road has been reopened.

Let this be the lesson: had the public not shown up with such a strong collective voice, public access would have been lost, and likely forever. It’s sad to think our elected officials don’t have the larger public’s best interest in mind, but that’s the world we live in. So stay vigilant. Tune into issues, show up to meetings, spread the word, and consider joining groups like the Public Land & Water Access Association. Without them, and all of you, our access hangs in jeopardy.