Corridor H Alternate Route is Back on The Table

By Hugh Rogers Last month, the Go North Alliance, an informal organization of statewide, regional, and local nonprofits, including the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, as well as Tucker County businesses and individuals, formally requested a scoping process on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Parsons to Davis Project. Scoping determines the range of [...]

Thoughts From Our President

By Marilyn Shoenfeld Another month has flown by, and we are heading into fall. We have all been busy. The Legislative Committee is developing a set of legislative priorities for the West Virginia Environmental Council in preparation for the next session of the legislature. These priorities will include the protection of West Virginia’s public lands, [...]

Blending Recreation, History and Culture 

The Blackwater Industrial Complex Archaeological and Historic District contains a ten-mile stretch of the 1888 West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway grade with bridges and culverts, the abandoned community of Limerock along with the historic mining towns of Thomas, Coketon and Douglas, including numerous historic buildings, mine portals, stone foundations of the Coketon power house, [...]

Part Two: Wilderness Trails

By Dave Johnston In the first part of this discussion, we explored the fact that while Wilderness is supposed to be “untrammeled” by humans and evidence of our temporary presence is to be minimized, purposely constructed and maintained trails can still be compatible with Wilderness, despite being a permanent development.  One of the key goals [...]

The Scourge of Eagles: Lead Shot

By Cindy Ellis "Have you seen the Bald Eagle?"  That is the question posed more and more often to me as I've birded for decades across West Virginia and the Kanawha Valley. People see someone with binoculars and are keen to share sightings of our nation's symbolic highflyer.  This was not true forty years ago. [...]

Meet the Recipients of the Dolly Sods Wilderness Stewards Service Awards

By Olivia Miller In May, seven volunteers were recognized for their dedication and participation in all of the main projects conducted by the Dolly Sods Wilderness Stewards in 2022. Frank and Judy O’Hara, Chris Longe and Elizabeth Olmo, David Mong, Jill Watkins, and Marjorie McDiarmid distinguished themselves by contributing at least 40 hours of volunteer time to the Dolly Sods Wilderness [...]

The Highlands Conservancy’s Contributions to Wilderness

By George E. Beetham Jr Before the coming of European explorers and settlers, all of the land in what is now West Virginia was wilderness. Much of the land defied travel. Mountain slopes, laurel thickets (called laurel hells by later settlers), bogs, and forests of red spruce growing so thick a person could scarcely squeeze [...]

Fourth Circuit and the MVP: That’s the Ballgame

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Gives Up Jurisdiction of Mountain Valley Pipeline Cases By John McFerrin The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has dismissed the last challenges to the Mountain Valley Pipeline that were pending before it. It did so on the basis of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, passed [...]

Residents Raise Alarm Over Aging and Deteriorating Pipes Along Mountain Valley Pipeline

By Olivia Miller Pipes that have been sitting exposed to the elements since the early days of construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have caused residents and environmental groups to raise alarm bells as construction of the 303-mile pipeline has swiftly resumed. If completed, the pipeline will carry gas under 1,400 pounds of pressure across [...]

­WV Highlands Fall Review: What’s Up With Your Water?

Our bodies average about 60% water. The exact amount varies with age, gender, and fat content, but that’s the average: 40% other stuff and 60% water. So, what we do to our water, we do to ourselves, and to our children and grandchildren. So, yes, water matters a great deal. Please join us for this [...]

Water Data Collection Efforts by Citizen Scientists Already Paying Dividends

By Susan Rosenblum Stream water quality data that has been collected by a dozen dedicated citizen scientists over the past 12 months will soon be added to the Conservation Hub GIS maps maintained by the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance.   The data is collected on a biweekly or monthly basis on streams that are, or may be, [...]

A No-Cost Service To Help Control Erosion

Friends of the Cheat is seeking property owners interested in complimentary tree plantings in riparian areas (the areas directly next to a stream or river) of their property. By planting trees in these areas, Friends of Cheat hopes to help reduce stream bank erosion, sedimentation, bank instability, and bank loss in the Cheat River watershed. [...]

National Public Lands Day

West Virginia’s public lands offer something for everyone. With 35 state parks, 116,090 acres of wilderness areas, and hundreds of miles of trails, the public lands surrounding us offer everyone the chance to connect with the natural environment.  This year, National Public Lands Day falls on September 23. It’s the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort organized and led by the National Environmental Education [...]