• Finding New Uses for Abandoned Lands?

    By John McFerrin Congress is considering two bills–the Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act and the Abandoned Mine Land Fee Extension Act—that would change the way we spend money on mine sites that were mined before the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act passed in 1977.             When the federal Surface Mining […]

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  • Another Conservancy Founder Passes

    A tribute by Dave Elkinton One of the key founders of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Lou Greathouse, passed away November 24, 2019 in Roswell, Georgia at the age of 88. According to his obituary, Lovell Ridgeley Greathouse was born on February 19, 1931, in Strasburg, Virginia. He was a graduate of West Virginia University. […]

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  • You’ve Read the Book; Now See the Movie

    In the past, The Highlands Voice has had several stories about a Mine Research Facility proposed for a site on the border of Pocahontas and Randolph Counties, near Mace, WV.  The Highlands Voice, May, 2019 https://wvhighlands.org/2020/01/02/2019/  February and April, 2020, https://wvhighlands.org/2021/01/04/2020/ and January and April, 2021 https://wvhighlands.org/highlands-voice-mag/        In a nutshell, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) wants to build a pretend […]

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  • Who Gets Stuck When Mines Fail?

    There has been another development as we inch forward to a solution to the problem of how to reclaim failing mines.  The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, the Sierra Club, and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition have sued the federal Office of Surface Mining to force it to be more active in the search for a solution. […]

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  • Thoughts from our president

    Public lands provide significant benefits to the public, our environment, and our economy. Our West Virginia public lands, including our state forests and parks as well as our national forests are experiencing record-high visitations and therefore are facing threats like never before. In fact, reports from all over the country are telling the same story.  To […]

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  • Is Sauce for the Goose also Sauce for the Gander?

    By John McFerrin If we measure an idea by comparing what it accomplishes with what it was supposed to, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system has been a rousing success.  It started off in 2000 with 300 miles of trails.  Since, it has expanded to more than 700 miles of trails.  The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreational Authority, which administers the system, […]

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  • Off-highway Vehicles: a Threat to Our Public Lands

    By Larry Thomas Efforts have been persistent in promoting off-highway vehicle recreation on our public lands, Federal and state, in West Virginia in the state legislature for the last two years (see story on p. 10).  For obvious reasons, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy strongly opposes allowing this activity on our public lands. ● Our public lands […]

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  • WV Legislature- Win Some, Lose Some

    By WVHC & WV E-Council legislative committees              Sort of like a high stakes poker game, the fate of environmental related bills in the West Virginia State Legislature is both chancy and sometimes unpredictable.  In the just ended 2021 legislative session, WV Environmental Council (WVEC) lobbyists scored a couple wins where most odds-makers would have predicated losses. […]

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  • Board Highlights

    By John McFerrin             Once again the Board members (and a couple of their cats) climbed into their little Zoom boxes for the quarterly Board meeting.  We are thinking that this may be the last Zoom Board meeting for a while and that it may be safe to meet in person at the next one, scheduled for […]

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  • They’re back!

    By John McFerrin        Brood X of the seventeen year cicadas will be emerging in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia in late May.          This is happening only in the eastern panhandle and not all of West Virginia because there are different broods of cicadas that are in different parts of the Eastern United States.  In 2016 […]

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