Watoga State Park Gets Dark Sky Status

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has awarded Watoga State Park in West Virginia with the official Dark Sky Park status.  The adjacent Calvin Price State Forest and nearby Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park also jointly received Dark Sky Park designations as part of Watoga’s application due to their close proximity.  All managed by the West Virginia Department of [...]

Thoughts from our president

WOW!!! Thanks to everyone who attended our 2021 Fall Review. Although originally planned as an outdoor, in person, event somewhere in the highlands that the Conservancy is devoted to protecting, the Fall Review committee had to make the tough decision to make this year virtual because of the recent uptick of Covid 19.  Thanks to [...]

With Record Visitation, Dolly Sods Approaches Gridlock

By Rick Steelhammer With temperatures in the mid-40s and wind gusts strong enough to force visitors to take occasional stutter steps to maintain their balance, there was no doubt last Sunday that fall had arrived at the Dolly Sods Wilderness. During the previous week, autumn colors had faded from bright red to a rusty purple [...]

Book News

All We Can Save Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, Edited by Anana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K Wilkinson (One World, 2021; www.oneworldlit.com/books) Reviewed by Cynthia Ellis Strong women have been part of our organization’s history.  They have played important roles, as supporting and major figures.  They have lent their talents to our issues throughout our [...]

Fall Review: Lots of Smart People Saying Lots of Interesting Stuff

By John McFerrin             The 2021 West Virginia Highlands Conservancy Fall Review was virtual this year because of covid but that didn’t stop us from having lots of interesting presentations.             Dave Johnston started off with a little bit of Wilderness Act history, a little history of Dolly Sods, and a discussion of the work of the [...]

Trees and Climate Change

By John McFerrin             By now the science is clear:  trees have an enormous impact upon climate and can be an important tool in mitigating climate change.  In West Virginia, nobody is the boss of more trees than the United States Forest Service.  Because of its management of the Monongahela National Forest, the Forest Service has more to say [...]

Sloth: Deadly Sin or Environmental Virtue?

Now that fall is here, many of us are feeling a nagging urge to get off the couch, shut down our Zoom calling, and get out there and rake some leaves.               But is that a good idea?  Not according to the National Wildlife Federation.  Here are its thoughts on the matter:   Traditionally, leaf removal has entailed three [...]

NIOSH Comes to Mace, West Virginia

By Cindy Rank When is a mine not a mine? Apparently when it’s a hole in the ground carved out of rock to look and act like a mine but used for research purposes rather than production of a product such as coal or limestone. Let me back up a bit. The Centers for Disease [...]

Bird Protections Back Where They Started

By John McFerrin             The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it will cut the malarkey and go back to protecting migratory birds the way it always had.  It will go back to the interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which it had always had and enforce it accordingly.   Background The Migratory Bird [...]

Board Highlights

By John McFerrin             Even though we had spent the previous day Zooming with the speakers for the Fall Review (well worth it, see story on p. ), we climbed back into our little Zoom boxes for both the Annual Meeting and the quarterly Board meeting.             The only business conducted at the Annual Meeting was the [...]

Become a Wilderness Steward

Dolly Sods Wilderness Stewards do not need to have any special experience or expertise. There is no specific time commitment required; some people may live close and be available more often, but even those who only visit occasionally are welcome to participate as their schedule allows. We recommend and encourage all volunteers, especially the Trailhead [...]