West Virginians for Public Lands – July 2018

House of Representatives Holds the Line on LWCF

Your letters and advocacy in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund are working!

While the countdown to the expiration of the Land and Water Conservation Fund continues, Congress is debating a number of bills and amendments related to the program. One amendment, attached to the 2019 appropriation for the Department of the Interior, would have diverted money away from LWCF and decreased the funding available for recreation and conservation projects across the county. The proposal was defeated, due in part to support from West Virginia Representatives McKinley (WV-1) and Jenkins (WV-3). This small victory maintains the status quo for LWCF in advance of the September 30 renewal deadline for the program.

If you haven’t already sent your letter to our delegation on behalf of the Land and Water Conservation Fund you can send a letter here.

Hidden Agenda for National Monuments Review

Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is one of the National Monuments under review by the Trump administration.

A Freedom of Information Act request reviewed by the Washington Post has reignited the controversy surrounding the Administration’s review of 27 national monuments for possible reductions. Department of Interior (DOI) officials discounted evidence that supported national monument protections, including information that showed that archaeological sites were better protected, ranchers and fisherman were minimally impacted by designations, and local economic conditions improved in the vicinity of new national monuments. DOI scrambled to redact documents that revealed the pre-determined strategy of the national monuments review was to allow increased extraction of our public lands and natural resources. You can read the full article here.

Snorkeling in the Mountains?!

The Mountain State might not jump to mind when you think of places to go snorkeling, but it’s a great way to get a “trout’s eye view” of our rivers and streams. The Forest Service is partnering with local organizations to encourage people, especially young people, to get out in the water to learn more about the connection between public lands, clean water and healthy ecosystems. Friends of the Cheat is co-hosting a snorkel event with the Forest Service at the Cheat River Festival Fairgrounds August 9th. The event is free, family friendly, and gear is provided for participants to use. The time slots are available at 11-12 and 5-6. Each slot is open to 30 participants.

Business for Public Lands: Amick’s Welding

WVPL Business Alliance Coordinator Dave Bassage made a new connection when he took his old Tacoma in for repairs at Amick’s Welding in Nettie, WV. It’s not just tourism and recreation businesses that rely on our state’s ‘wild and wonderful’ public lands – every business in West Virginia has employees or customers that value our outdoor heritage and the quality of life that goes with access to woods and waters. Stu Amick points out that “our staff and many of our clients enjoy hunting, fishing and recreating on the wonderful public lands in West Virginia. Caring for them benefits all of us and it’s just the right thing to do.” Thank you Amick’s Welding!

Public Land Volunteers in Action

St. Mary’s resident Matt Powell loves the High Falls of Shavers Fork, Otter Creek Wilderness, and North Bend State Park.

He celebrates public lands by hiking, running, canoeing, fishing, and cross country skiing with friends, family, and his 10 year-old son. He sees our land lands as one of West Virginians greatest treasures and shares that “public lands allow that treasure to be accessible and that alone is worth defending.”

Matt trained with West Virginia Rivers as a public lands volunteer leader in June and has taken postcards, and the message of support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, to a forest farming/herbal medicine seminar, his trail running club, and his table at Solar Fest, a solar-powered music festival in Fayette County.

Thanks for your good work Matt!

Explore: Upcoming Outings and Events on Public Lands

Aug 8: “Lunch and Learn” about your public lands at 12pm in the Wellsburg Public Library.

Aug 9: Friends of the Cheat and Forest Service snorkel event.

Aug 10: Public meeting for Anthony Creek Watershed Protection Plan at 6pm, Anthony Volunteer Fire Department.

Aug 11: The Watoga State Park Foundation’s Mountain Trail Challenge Races.

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