More Drilling in the National Forests?

By John McFerrin The United States Department of Agriculture (parent agency of the United States Forest Service) has proposed new regulations that would diminish the role of the Forest Service in decisions about oil and gas drilling on National Forest land. Currently, the Bureau of Land Management (a part of the Department of the Interior) [...]

Thoughts from our president

It’s hard to believe that we are in October, but it is very evident witnessing the start of the annual transformation from green to the scarlet, purple, orange, yellow and brown of the fall foliage. While visiting Buffalo Lake, Spruce Knob Lake, Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods last week I saw individual trees that were [...]

A Tale of Two Plans

The accompanying story discusses proposed regulations that would diminish the role of the National Forest Service in approving oil and gas development in the National Forests.  Diminishing the role of the Forest Service also calls into question the role of the Management Plans for the National Forests.             All National Forests are required to have a Land [...]

Groups Object to Mountain Valley Pipeline Stream Crossings

In May, 2020, The Highlands Voice reported on a United States District Court in Montana that had ruled that the United States Army Corps of Engineers had improperly allowed a pipeline crossing of a waterway based upon a nationwide permit which had been improperly issued.  Now several environmental groups, including the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, have invoked the [...]

Meanwhile, in the Jefferson National Forest

So much for recent Corps and Fish and Wildlife actions.  Also, on Friday, September 25th, the U.S. Forest Service released its proposal for the 303-mile pipeline to pass through the Jefferson National Forest, a prominent concern of MVP pipeline opponents in Monroe County, West Virginia, home to a small but important portion of the Jefferson (i.e. [...]

Book News: Death in Mud Lick by Eric Eyre

Reviewed by Cindy Ellis A book on the opioid crisis might seem a stretch for readers interested in issues of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.  In the book no mountains are lopped off, no swaths of trees are clear cut, no water is polluted, and no air is fouled.  Not exactly.  But, a number of [...]

New West Virginia Land Trust preserve a Mammoth undertaking

By Rick Steelhammer A 5,000-acre expanse of woodland and former surface mines along the Kanawha-Fayette County line east of Mammoth is being repurposed as a public recreation area and a demonstration site for post-mining reforestation and stream restoration by its new owner, the West Virginia Land Trust. Mountain bike and hiking trails are among recreational [...]


By Jack Slocomb Must be that turn of year, days more dimly drawn, nib of freeze in the tighter twines of air, for those fat black polished crickets to be in high gear in their frenzied lofty springing in and out of the weave of drooping grasses  along the loose gravel lane when I scuff [...]


By Jack Slocomb Seneca Creek rises up out of ancient, wrinkled folds of earth, out of timelessness, an immense continuity.             When I breathe in the space and the sweep from the observation tower at the top of Spruce Knob, it is this image, this whole idea of it, that seems to be what finally distills [...]

Learn the Straight Scoop on Climate Change

Late last month, the West Virginia Climate Alliance, an emerging coalition of environmental, civil rights, faith-based and civic organizations, released A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change. The Guide outlines the science behind climate change, lists some of its impacts in West Virginia and across the globe, and provides a menu of potential solutions. What sets this [...]

Hearing on Water Quality Rules Turns into Nothing

A September 23 hearing of the Legislative Rulemaking Review Committee on proposed water quality standards proved anticlimactic as the rules were taken off the agenda.             The rule at issue has to do with what are called water quality standards and the discharge limits that those standards dictate. In 1972, the federal Clean Water Act set [...]

Strange Doings by Department of Environmental Protection in Eastern Panhandle

By Christine Wimer, President Jefferson County Foundation It is time for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to stop catering to corporations and start protecting the environment. Jefferson County Foundation, based in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, is hip to the tricks leaving the natural resources vulnerable.  Join us in taking action.  The Department of Environmental [...]