United States Supreme Court Hears Atlantic Coast Pipeline Case

By John McFerrin             On February 24, 2020, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on a case concerning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Now we are left to wait, with nothing to do other than speculate on the possible outcome.             The case itself focuses on the Appalachian Trail.  The Trail itself runs from Maine to Georgia.  On its way, [...]

Thoughts from our president

By John McFerrin             On February 24, 2020, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on a case concerning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Now we are left to wait, with nothing to do other than speculate on the possible outcome.             The case itself focuses on the Appalachian Trail.  The Trail itself runs from Maine to Georgia.  On its way, [...]

A Little Legislative News

As The Highlands Voice goes to press the West Virginia Legislature is going into its final week.  Committees are committeeing, deals are being cut, politics is being played, etc. etc.  Nobody knows how things are going to turn out.  Much of what is known now will change several times by the end.  Next month, when the dust has settled, we will [...]

Crackers and Missing Mountains. Tales within tales.

By Marion Harless, West Virginian More taxpayer dollars are going to subsidize construction of huge air-polluting gas cracker plants. Gas and oil are cracked to make stock for plastic. Plastics are smothering us and the planet. If we really need more plastics, we can make them from wood, plants, and even coal, we can start [...]

Weeks Act Helped Create Monongahela National Forest

By Robert Beanblossom  One of the most important pieces of environmental legislation ever enacted by Congress was the passage of the Weeks Act on March 1, 1911. Named for its chief sponsor, Congressman John Weeks, R-Mass., it was to have a profound effect on West Virginia by providing the statutory authority to create the Monongahela [...]

ClimateWise

Sequestering carbon dioxide is essential if the world is going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Many scientists estimate that in order to stay at a “safe” level of warming, that carbon dioxide levels should stabilize around 350 parts per million. Last year we reached 410 ppm. In short, there is already too [...]

Checking in with the Northern Flying Squirrel

By John McFerrin The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has done a review of how the Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus) is faring.  It found that the Squirrel is hanging in there. The Northern Flying Squirrel has a long history of varying degrees of protection under the Endangered Species Act.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife [...]

New Designation for the New River?

There has been some activity on the proposal by United States Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), to change the New River Gorge’s designation from the “New River Gorge National River” to the “New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.”  The Senators’ goal in proposing this change is to make the area [...]

Changes to the Clean Water Rule Have Big Impacts on the Ground

By Kurt Fesenmyer High in the headwaters of Back Creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are several small streams that only run after it rains.  Those “ephemeral” tributaries to Back Creek, a wild brook trout stream that also holds browns and rainbows, intersect with the proposed 600-mile route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a [...]

A Little Action at the Pump Storage Project

By John McFerrin Although the details about the project are not yet available, there have been some developments in the proposed pump storage project near Bismark in Grant County.  The developers have appeared before the Grant County Commission and, after a brief discussion, received its endorsement. Even if the endorsement of the Grant County Commission has [...]