WV Rivers News: Pipeline Update, Public Access, Partnerships for Water

WV Rivers Volunteers Protecting Water from Pipelines

This summer is gearing up to be a busy season with multiple pipelines under construction. WVDEP is trying to keep citizens up-to-date through a webpage where you can track major pipelines throughout the state. To help you navigate this new resource, we’ve developed a guide that explains how the webpage works. Download the guide here.

In preparation for the onslaught of construction, WV Rivers hosted several water quality monitoring trainings to equip volunteers with the tools and skills needed to detect impacts from pipelines. You can view photos of the workshops here. If you weren’t able to attend one of our trainings, but are interested in monitoring pipeline construction, check out our visual assessment programYou can serve as our eyes and ears to help protect WV’s streams from pipeline construction

LWCF: Enhancing Recreation on Public Lands

Did you know that the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided nearly $240 million dollars to West Virginia’s public lands since it was established by Congress in 1964? Places like the New River GorgeSeneca RocksCanaan Valley Wildlife Refuge, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park have received LWCF support. The Land and Water Conservation Fund also includes grants for states to use for playgrounds, swimming pools, campgrounds, ballfields, and local parks. Unfortunately, this fund is at risk to expire on September 30th if Congress doesn’t act quickly to renew it. Send a letter nowlet West Virginia’s congressional delegation know you want a strong LWCF!

All summer long WV Rivers is helping the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance celebrate LWCF and educate Mountaineers about what the fund has done for our state. We’re compiling a list of LWCF projects by county and building a map to tell the story of LWCF in West Virginia. Find a favorite place near you and email us a picture.

Land and Water Action Plan Launched

Grant Smith, president of the Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle, Don Owen of the Land Trust Alliance, and Liz Wheeler of the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board at a celebration for an easement on an historic farm.

WV Rivers and more than a dozen partner groups, agencies, and water utilities have been working together to pilot a new powerful approach for protecting West Virginia’s drinking water supplies. They have been exploring ways to use conservation easements to permanently protect lands in zones critical for drinking water supplies.

Now, we are launching a 5-year campaign to raise public awareness of these opportunities and to secure funding for conservation in these areas. Similar projects in other states usually involve a single land trust working in a particular watershed. Our approach is to harness the successes, resources, and talents of several land trusts to work together across each watershed that serves the drinking water utilities of Jefferson County. Read more about the plan here.

Jamie Shumway’s Off Belay: a Last Great Adventure

West Virginia lost a great adventurer and environmental advocate in 2014 when WV Rivers co-founder Dr. Jamie Shumway passed away. Dr. Shumway lived a life full of outdoors adventure and exploration. He began telling his extraordinary story after he was diagnosed with of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. His memoir, Off Belay: A Last Great Adventure, shares his memories of a life well lived with tales of white-water boating, skiing, mountaineering and rock-climbing.

You can read a review of Off Belay by Mac Thornton, a co-founder of WV Rivers here.

Dr. Shumway’s family is generously donating the proceeds from his book to West Virginia Rivers. You can purchase the book directly from WV Rivers here, or through Amazon here.

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