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West Virginia residents are coming together to halt the blockage of state roads

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The issue of public roads closed by private gates is about much more than access, for some it's about being denied the freedom to roam on roads that were once open to a West Virginian.

One man says this issue is gaining traction among people living in West Virginia and those people are standing up and speaking out.

"These heart-felt testimonies that were said in the meeting are just part of It. But there are a lot of legalities here that the representatives can be looking at and saying 'wait a minute, this can't be happening. This is not right it's not legal and it's not right," said Mcdowell County landowner Charles Nixon.

Nixon is not alone, voices like his have carried from small communities to the ears of state lawmakers.

"If a road has been opened for 20 or more years, to the general public, to ride on, drive on, take a hike on or whatever, that it can't be gated," said Delegate of the 27th District, Ed Evans.

"What I would like to stress is that citizens shouldn't take the law into their own hands, so to speak and to become lawless in how they are handling this thing there are ways to get this problem solved, but it's not by just doing it on your own in the middle of the night, that's not a good thing," said Senator of the 9th District Rollan Roberts.

Residents from neighboring counties say they are working toward regaining public access to the country roads that are part of their home.

"We are going to start getting connected with every county in West Virginia. Used to be these land companies would come in and they could only fight one individual, now they're fighting all of West Virginia," said dirt road blockage petitioner, Lucy Lester.

If you have any story ideas that you would like to share with Tiara Brown, you can email her at tbrown@wvva.com

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Tiara Brown

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