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The Eastern Continental Divide runs along the Highlands of West Virginia. The streams going East feed into the Potomac River Watershed that runs into the Chesapeake Bay. The people that live in Washington DC and through out the Chesapeake Bay Area depend on West Virginia for clean water.
The streams going West feed into the Monongahela River Watershed that runs into the Ohio River. Many cities along the Monongahela and Ohio River like Morgantown WV, Pittsburgh PA, Charleston WV, Cincinnati OH and many more depend on West Virginia for clean water.
The water from the Highlands of West Virginia go into the Atlantic Ocean in the East and the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico in the West. That is a lot of people that depend on West Virginia for "clean Water". If you do not start with clean water at the top of the watersheds you will never have clean water downstream.
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy is working in vigorous opposition to coal mining by mountaintop removal. This destructive form of strip mining has gotten out of control. Lawsuits brought by the Highlands Conservancy are challenging this method of resource extraction based on violations of the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. The environmental and social impacts of mountain top removal mining extend well beyond the streams that are filled. Forests will take centuries to regenerate, if they ever do, on the packed, barren surface left after this most destructive of mining methods. The communities below these massive operations are often devastated, either by the mining itself, or by subsequent floods and valley fill mudslides. We believe that new rules for these activities are necessary, and existing laws need to be more vigorously enforced.
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy is deeply involved in the current debate about the massive wind energy facilities now coming to the Highlands . These projects produce green energy on the one hand, but also seriously damage the ecology and aesthetics of the West Virginia Highlands on the other.
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy is a leader in protecting the Monongahela National Forest . The Highlands Conservancy provides West Virginians a strong voice for protecting this public resources from the exploiting and destructive forces of industry. As part of this program our Mountain Odyssey outings calendar provides adventurous people the opportunity to get out and explore and enjoy our Wonder-full state. We also give back to the Mon through trail maintenance projects as well as helping with forest restoration and other conservation efforts.
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy continues its Wilderness tradition, and after 40 years of winning Wilderness protection for the Mon, it continues this effort through its work with the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition.
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy ©2007-2013 - Site Design by Jim Solley