WV Public Lands Update: June 2021

Grand Opening of New Monongahela National Forest Trail System – Saturday, June 5

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail! This Saturday, June 5, is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day and the Monongahela National Forest is celebrating with the grand opening of a new trail system in Randolph County.

The new Mower Basin Trails are in an area known as the Mower Tract near Huttonsville. The trails, which are on formerly mined land, meander through open meadows, high-elevation red spruce, and northern hardwood forests. Learn more about the National Trails Day Celebration and the Mower Basin Trails here.

Summer Events Shine a Light on Public Lands

June 10 at 6:00pm – Our Wild and Wonderful Mon Listening Session – Recreational Cycling

Throughout 2021 WV Rivers’ wants to hear from you about how you recreate within the Mon Forest. On June 10, we’ll be hosting a listening session via Zoom to hear from recreational cyclists about using trails and roadways within the Mon National Forest.

Questions to consider include:

  • How might access and navigation be improved?
  • How might the continuity of trips be improved?
  • How do we better market the trails to cyclists?

Register HERE for the remote discussion. Questions? Contact, Jeremy Morris, jmorris@wvrivers.org

June 17-20 – Wood’s Wacky Week at Watoga State Park

Our partners at the WV Scenic Trails Association will be returning to Watoga State Park for the annual Wood’s Wacky Week of Work and Welaxation (W5). This year folks will be re-decking of Beaver Creek Gorge Bridge and re-roofing the Marlin Mountain Shelter. They will need “all hands on deck” on Saturday and Sunday for these projects.

For more info & to RSVP contact Doug Wood at 304-550-1006 or chingwe1755@gmail.com

July 17 – Save the Date for WV Rivers’ Celebration in Tucker County

Save the date and join us for a day of fun on the river and in the woods in Tucker County! During the day we’ll have free activities, and in the evening join our ticketed after party. Stay tuned to wvrivers.org, we’ll share more information soon.

New Report on Effort to Protect 30% of America’s Lands and Waters

In light of the President’s executive order related to preserving and restoring 30% of lands and waters by 2030, a new report, “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” has been released.

This preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force recommends a ten-year, locally led campaign to conserve and restore lands and waters across public, private, and Tribal areas.

The report identifies six priority areas for development: create more parks/outdoor areas for nature-deprived communities; support Tribally led conservation/restoration priorities; expand fish and wildlife habitats/corridors; increase access for outdoor recreation; incentivize voluntary conservation efforts; and create jobs by investing in restoration/resilience projects, such as the Civilian Climate Corps. You can read the report here.

Investments in Infrastructure Helps Keep Public Lands Wild

A legislative package called the American Jobs Plan, looks to tackle climate change through conservation measures while creating good paying jobs for Americans. While billed as an infrastructure package, it does more than just build roads and bridges. It includes proposals for wastewater treatment, flooding mitigation, and natural climate solutions – all of which encourage conservation and protect wild places.

Both of West Virginia’s Senators are key votes on the legislation. You can let them know that investment in infrastructure is an opportunity that West Virginia can’t afford to miss out on. Act now, let our Senators know that you are depending on them to make sure that West Virginia, our water, land, climate, and economy come out on top of any infrastructure bill.

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.

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