WV Public Lands: Mon Forest Meetings; Advocacy Training; Yeager Airport Expansion

Mon Forest Community Conversations in October

Last fall, WV Rivers held listening sessions with recreation users of the Mon Forest. You can check out the report of those listening session “Our Wild and Wonderful Mon”. Now, WV Rivers (with the support of West Virginians for Public Lands) is presenting three community conversations about the report and its findings.

A Mon Forest conversation in Hendricks, WV.

The majority of participants mentioned the importance of protecting the pristine, clear headwaters flowing from the Mon Forest. Folks also expressed concerns for trail maintenance and development; addressing over-visitation threats to wilderness; marketing less visited areas; and assuring access for all persons and communities.

Other opportunities for the Mon Forest identified in the report include:

  • improving accuracy and availability of forest and trail maps;
  • effective removal of invasive species;
  • enhancing safe river recreation by increasing the number of U.S. Geological Survey Stream Gauges;
  • a state ‘Bridge Bill’ to permit public water access points at bridge crossings; and
  • providing an endowment and other funding for Mon Forest recreation.

Informed people and public engagement is important to protect our Mon Forest. Join us for this important conversation at one of our three sessions. All sessions are from 5:30-6:30pm. Doors open at 5:00pm; light refreshments served.

October 11, 2022 – Petersburg

Welton Park (Pavilion 5)

1979 Petersburg Gap Highway

Petersburg, WV 26847

Register HERE.

October 12, 2022 – Canaan Valley

Outdoor Pavilion

Canaan Valley Resort

230 Main Lodge Road

Davis, WV 26260

Register HERE.

October 26, 2022 – Marlinton

Discovery Junction

709 2nd Avenue

Marlinton, WV 24954

Register HERE.

Advocating Close to Home: Learn the Tools for Effective Meetings with Your State Delegate and Senator

Standing up good public policy is a year-round job in West Virginia. As we prepare for the 2023 Legislative Session with a commitment to protect our unique and irreplaceable public lands, we’re inviting you to join us online on October 17 to learn about in-person advocacy.

In-person advocacy doesn’t have to be intimidating! In fact, your legislators want to hear from you – you are a voter. Did you know you can meet with your legislators outside of the 60-day legislative session and that you can meet with them locally? Did you know that YOUR story about how you use public lands matters to your legislator? During the advocate training, we’ll teach you how to call or set up a meeting with your legislators – you do NOT have to go to Charleston – and we’ll help you know what to say when you meet with them or their staff.

Join us for this empowering training on October 17 at 7:00pm. Please register here.

Your representative need to hear your story. Our Wild and Wonderful West Virginia – and future generations – cannot thank you enough!

Hike in Coonskin Park to See Impact of Yeager Airport Expansion

We are continuing to watch the proposed expansion plan for Yeager Airport (Charleston) and the impact of that expansion on a public land, Coonskin Park. Even a quick glance at the project map shows that the undeveloped natural part of the park will be excavated, and the dirt used to fill in the ravine (and hiking trails) where Coonskin Branch now flows.

We wrote extensively about the project in the August Public Lands News.

We want to see Coonskin Park for ourselves. West Virginians for Public Lands and WV Rivers Coalition will be leading a hike on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Join our staff and local folks to hike the Alice-Knight Memorial Trail in Coonskin Park. We’ll meet at at the parking lot for the trail, just left of the trail head. We’ll then hike the 1.1 mile moderately difficult trail. You can find out more information about the hike herePlease register if you are planning to attend.

We will be asking the questions and continuing to keep you informed. Public Comments may be made until November 17, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. There is a website at www.YeagerAirportEIS.com describing the project from the FAA’s point of view. You can email the project at info@YeagerAirportEIS.com today and ask to be put in the mailing list for updates. If you have stories about Coonskin Park or pictures about your hikes there, please send them to Mike Jones.

Yeager Airport Public Meetings

The proposed expansion. The dark green area is Coonskin Park; the light green and mauve zones are the areas of the park that would be destroyed by the expansion. 

Speaking of Yeager Airport and Coonskin Park, there are three public scooping meetings in November.  In-person meetings will be held November 2, 2022 and November 3, 2022, both meetings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The meetings will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Hotel, 300 Court Street, Charleston, WV. There will not be formal presentations. The meetings will be held open house-style, with tables of displays and agency and project officials to ask questions to. No registration required. A virtual public workshop will be held on Zoom on November 7, 2022 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Questions and Answers will be accepted. Registration is required for the virtual public workshop.

We wish there was a formal meeting, so that everyone present could hear the thoughts and concerns of all people attending. This is still your opportunity to be heard. Let the agency and project officials know your concerns about Coonskin Park or any other concerns you have about the project.

Meet Your Public Lands – Tomlinson Run

This month, we take you to the Northern Panhandle – to the northern-most state park: Tomlinson Run.

Tomlinson Run is located on an Ohio River tributary (Tomlinson Run) at the top of West Virginia. The park offers heavily forested areas, and cliffs of shale and sandstone, in 1398 acres. Recreation opportunities include hiking, fishing, and boating. The map of trails, and trail descriptions are here. There are unique camping opportunities in yurts and camper cabins.

Tomlinson Run State Park is located at 3391 Veterans Blvd, New Cumberland, WV 26047.

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