Public Lands News: Advocates Visit Senate Offices, Comedy Night in Charles Town, LWCF Funding

BIG NEWS: Congress Moves LWCF One Step Closer Towards Full Funding

Senator Manchin enjoyed West Virginia’s wild public lands when he rafted the New River earlier this summer. Watch his video of the trip here. He has made funding for our public lands his priority.

Good news from DC! On November 19, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bill that would fully fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund with a 13 to 7 vote!

Senator Manchin’s leadership as the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and his steadfast support of the Land & Water Conservation Fund paved the way for the bill’s passage out of committee.

Join us in thanking Senator Manchin for being an effective champion of the Land & Water Conservation Fund by sending him a thank you note here.

Next, the Land & Water Conservation Fund funding bill will go before the full House and Senate for a vote. We’ll need to keep the pressure on West Virginia’s congressional delegation to ensure LWCF receives the full funding it deserves. Learn more about how LWCF has benefited West Virginia here.

Stay tuned! We’ll let you know when it’s time to contact your Congress members.

Public Lands Advocates Visit Senate Offices

From left to right: Rhea Mitchell, WV Rivers’ public lands coordinator; Larry Thomas, WV Highlands Conservancy president; Angie Rosser, WV Rivers’ executive director; Berry Rainwater, Adventures on the Gorge. 

The same day the Land & Water Conservation Fund funding bill passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, members of the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance visited the Charleston offices of Senators Capito and Manchin.

They delivered hundreds of postcards and a letter supporting the Land & Water Conservation Fund signed by 1,457 individual members, 77 businesses, and 41 organizations!

Are you a business owner or a member of an organization that would like to add your name to the letter? Email

Comedy Night Benefiting Wild Public Lands – Charles Town, 12/18

Comedian Robert Mac is known for his clever and award-winnings stand-up sets. 

Join West Virginia Rivers Coalition, coordinator of the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance, at Abolitionist Ale Works in Charles Town on Wednesday, December 18, for a night of stand-up comedy, featuring celebrity comedian Robert Mac10% of the proceeds will be donated to WV Rivers, supporting the West Virginians for Public Alliance and other clean water initiatives!

Robert Mac is best known as the Grandprize Winner of Comedy Central’s national “Laugh Riots” competition and for his appearances on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Tickets are limited, so grab yours today by calling Abolitionist at (681) 252-1548.

Public Lands Advocate Spotlight: Berry Rainwater

Since 2017, Berry Rainwater has been a passionate advocate for public lands in West Virginia. Originally from Georgia, the lure of the Gauley River drew him to the Fayetteville area where he became captivated by opportunities for adventure and community. Berry enjoys a career as a raft guide and trip leader, providing entertainment to guests from all walks of life, including Senator Manchin and his staff this past summer. Now, Berry oversees the public relations and partnerships at Adventures on the Gorge, where he has an opportunity to travel and share all that West Virginia has to offer.

Berry is a member of the West Virginians for Public Lands Business Alliance and joined fellow advocates in Charleston to support full funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund. Thanks Barry for being a part of the team! Interested in joining our Business Alliance? Find out more here.

Growing the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance

In November, WV Rivers’ public lands coordinator, Rhea Mitchell, spent the afternoon at Chestnut Revival in Hinton to meet local public lands advocates. There was lots of love and good conversation about our wild and wonderful public lands.

Folks learned about the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance and how the members advocate for the places that make the Mountain State so special. Folks also had an opportunity to ask questions about programs like the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Thanks to the team at Chestnut Revival for hosting us and keeping us warm with delicious baked goods and coffees! Interested in hosting West Virginians for Public Lands at your business? Sign-up here!

Keep Our National Forests Wild — Comment on the Roadless Rule by December 17

Roaring Plains is one of the Monongahela National Forest’s wild roadless areas. Photo by Kent Mason.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public comment on a proposal to change the management of roadless areas in Alaska. If adopted, the proposal would exempt the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule.

What is the Roadless Rule? The “Roadless Rule” was established by the US Forest Service in 2001 after an extensive inventory and mapping of undeveloped public lands. It prohibits road construction for logging and mining in designated backcountry areas. In West Virginia, there are 182,000 roadless acres throughout our three National Forests — 162,000 in the Monongahela National Forest, 15,700 in the George Washington National Forest, and 4,800 in the Jefferson National Forest.

If adopted, the changes to the Alaska Roadless Rule would set a precedent for other states to be exempt.

Share your comments with the USDA on why you love the remote areas of national forests and why they should remain roadless in all states!

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