Air Quality Permit Withdrawn for Proposed Hardy County Log Fumigation Facility

By Olivia Miller In mid-April, a proposed log fumigation facility in Hardy County made national news after Allegheny Wood Products sought an air quality permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Air Quality.  Allegheny Wood Products had planned to tuck the toxic-spewing facility away in the quintessential West Virginia countryside in [...]

Thoughts from our President 

By Marilyn Shoenfeld I am honored and terrified to accept the challenge of the Presidency of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. The organization has been in my life since the 1980s when my husband, Peter, now deceased, was on the Board of Directors and created the first web page. I participated in the Mon 2000 [...]

Board President Larry Thomas to Pass the Torch at West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

With both sadness and gratitude, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy Board of Directors announces that Larry Thomas will resign as president.  Thomas has served as the president of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors since 2018. He was first appointed to the board in 2007 and later as chairman of the renewable energy committee.  Under Thomas’s [...]

Nine New Sites Added to the WV Waterfall Trail

By Maggie Susa The West Virginia Waterfall Trail has nine new stops, bringing the total to 38. Since its launch last June, the statewide trail has received over 35,000 participant check-ins, with visitors from 49 states and 15 countries. The trail has received rave reviews, which inspired the Department of Tourism to ask West Virginians to [...]

A Recap of our Bird Outing at Blackwater Falls 

By Cory Chase We had a full gaggle of birders for our first outing of the year on May 21 in Davis. On a brisk and breezy Sunday morning, we set out from the Allegheny Trail parking lot and hiked into Blackwater Falls State Park along the Blackwater River. The rain from the previous day [...]

Making a Difference: New Climate Guide Available from WVHC

In April, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy’s climate change committee published its first edition of a new publication, Making a Difference: Practical Actions That Individuals Can Take To Reduce Their Impact on the Climate. The following is an excerpt from the publication. If you wish to view the publication in its entirety, visit                          Topics covered [...]

Welcoming a New Member to our Board: Andrew Young

At the quarterly Board of Directors meeting held in April, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy welcomed Andrew Young to the board as a director-at-large.  Young is a law student at George Washington University Law School specializing in Environmental, Natural Resource, and Land Use Law. He currently clerks for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the [...]

Mountain Valley Pipeline Mayhem

The past month has been nothing short of mayhem in the rush to remove all obstacles standing in the way of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and wreak havoc on West Virginia’s precious water, air, mountains and all who lie within.  As has been reported many times over the years in The Highlands Voice, the construction [...]

New Planning in the Mon: Is it Time to Begin?

By John McFerrin It’s time again. The planning document that directs activities in the Monongahela National Forest is due for an update. The Monongahela National Forest, as do all National Forests, operates on the basis of a master plan. For the Mon, it is the Monongahela National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, commonly referred to [...]

The Nature Conservancy Protects Big Cove Tract in Canaan Valley

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in West Virginia has protected 1,971 acres of important lands in Canaan Valley, Tucker County, WV. The tract, called “Big Cove,” was purchased from Western Pocahontas Properties. The property borders the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge (CVNWR) to the south and is west of the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Conservation of this [...]

What a Difference a State Makes

By Lowell Markey According to an Associated Press article dated April 25, 2023, the West Virginia Public Service Commission allowed Monongahela Power and Potomac Edison to move forward with finalizing a plan they project will cost electric ratepayers at least $36 million to cover the cost of purchasing the Pleasants Power Station at Willow Island, [...]

New Babcock Trail Provides Access to Abandoned Gorge Coke-Making Community

The West Virginia State Park system’s newest hiking and biking trail provides a link to the New River Gorge’s industrial past, while giving those who travel it a chance to explore miles of Babcock State Park’s rugged canyon terrain. The new trail follows the path of an 8.5-mile narrow gauge railroad, completed in 1886, that [...]