WV Public Lands Update: WV Legislative Session, Gauley Healthy Forest Project, and New Partners
2021 Legislative Session: Bills We’re Watching
So far, it hasn’t been an active session for public lands related policy, but there are a couple bills we’re keeping our eyes on.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, introduced by Senators Maynard, Rucker and Karnes on February 12, calls for the US Congress to ‘reopen public lands’ in West Virginia to off-highway vehicle recreation and logging in national forests. Considering logging operations are alive and well in our state’s national forests, this statement is a bit of a head scratcher for some. Regarding access to off-highway vehicles, the resolution does not mention what kind of public lands designation(s). Regardless, many conservationists are concerned at the thought of opening up public lands to off-highway vehicle recreation. Check out this opinion piece by John McCoy in the Charleston Gazette-Mail to read more.
Proposed Gauley Healthy Forest Restoration Project
While this makes the process easier for the agency, it provides the public with less information on projects. To learn more, check out a recent edition of the Highlands Voice. Our partners at Friends of Blackwater have developed an action alert, requesting an environmental assessment and public comment period.
West Virginians for Public Lands Endorser Spotlight
Monongahela National Forest Access Updates
The Forest Service continues to provide guidance on use of developed recreational sites to keep visitors safe. You can find up-to-date information about access and restrictions within the Mon National Forest here.