Knocking Off the Ridgetops

As part of its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion Resources intends to blast away, excavate, and partially remove entire ridgetops along 38 miles of Appalachian ridgelines as part of the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Engineering and policy experts have examined documents submitted by Dominion to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and, using [...]

Congratulations to West Virginia’s 2017 River Hero

The River Network, a Colorado-based national nonprofit organization that supports local and statewide organizations involved in restoring and protecting rivers and streams, has named WV Rivers Coalition’s executive director Angie Rosser as one of its 2017 River Heroes. The River Heroes Award was created in 2001 to recognize and celebrate people whose efforts to protect [...]

Beth Baldwin Wins an Award

By Cindy Rank Congratulations to Beth Baldwin. She and her cohorts in the nursing profession worked tirelessly at the WV state Legislature these past few years to achieve greater recognition, acceptance and authority for Nurse Practitioners, and nurses in general, professionals who have much to offer our rural communities in particular. In December 2016 WVAHC [...]

Board Highlights

By John McFerrin The spring Board meeting was a mixture of the same old, same old, issue reports, and excitement for the future. For same old, same old we had the treasurer’s report and the Voice Editor’s report.  Treasurer Bob Marshall said that there was nothing out of the ordinary about the expenses or revenue.  [...]


Open Book test.  The text: “Fighting to Protect the Highlands: The First Forty Years of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy” by David P. Elkinton.  [texts available in each WV public library] True/False West Virginia Highlands Conservancy is West Virginia’s oldest environmental advocacy group. True   False In 1999, Julian Martin and Larry Gibson biked 490 miles [...]

The Passing of an Old Friend

We note with sorrow the passing earlier this year of Eleanor Bush at the age of 103.  She served as secretary of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy for several years in the 1970s. Ms. Bush spent most of her life in Philippi, WV, the home of her husband, Dr. Kyle Bush. She attended West Virginia [...]

Seven West Virginia Parks to Charge Entry Fees—NOT

In mid-April, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources announced that a $2-per-car entry fee would be charged at Coopers Rock State Forest and at Babcock, Blackwater, Cacapon, Little Beaver, Pipestem and Valley Falls state parks.  This was to be a pilot project, expected to raise $1.1 million in revenue in 2017 to help with [...]

From the Archives

Most issues of our monthly newsletter, The Highlands Voice, beginning with Volume 1, in 1969, are archived on our website at   Enjoy the following highlights taken from;   1981   Cranberry Wilderness Bill The Cranberry Wilderness Bill, which sailed unopposed through the House got bottled up and died in the Senate before it [...]

Trail Truthing, Part 4: Up On Cheat

By Hugh Rogers Looking for obscure trails such as the Flame Azalea Trail I wrote about last month (see the follow-up below), I have old-fashioned encounters.  Instead of plugging in coordinates, I ask strangers for directions; instead of timeless, placeless voices, I hear people say, “I’ve lived here all my life.” Old joke as told [...]

Another Friend Gone

It is with sadness that we pass along the news of the passing of Kaye Thomas, the wife of West Virginia Highlands Conservancy Senior Vice President Larry Thomas.  she died at the Levine & Dickson Hospice House in Charlotte, N.C. with Larry at her side. Her daughter reports that her death was peaceful and quick--her [...]

Legislative Wrap-up

By John McFerrin The West Virginia Legislature has come and gone, mostly (at press time they still had to finish the budget).  It’s time to look at what happened. Rights of Surface Owners and Mineral Owners This controversy has come up every year for the last few years.  It goes by different names—“forced pooling” is [...]

Maryland Bans Fracking

Maryland has, by statute, permanently banned the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  There had been years of protests by landowners, health leaders, and environmentalists. This makes Maryland the first state with proven gas reserves to use legislation to ban fracking. New York has banned the drilling process via executive order. Vermont has a statutory [...]

North Carolina Group Speaks Out about the Pipeline

Most of the opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that we hear about is from Virginia and West Virginia.  This does not mean, however, that all of the opposition is from those two states.  There is also opposition in North Carolina.  Fortunately, a member who lives in North Carolina has called that opposition to our [...]

What’s In a Name?

Opinion by John McFerrin The briefing paper that is the subject of the story on page 1 entitles itself “New Data: Atlantic Coast Pipeline Would Trigger Extensive Mountaintop Removal.”  As the document circulated, this title produced some head scratching.  Isn’t mountaintop removal that abomination that afflicts southern West Virginia that looks like this? That’s not [...]

White Nose Syndrome Update

By Craig Stihler The fungal disease White Nose Syndrome (WNS) was first documented in West Virginia in early 2009.  Since then, there have been significant declines in the numbers of bats observed in hibernacula.  Species most impacted have been the little brown bat, Indiana bat, northern long-eared bat, and tricolored bat.   During winter 2016-2017, WVDNR [...]