WV Public Lands: Off-Road Vehicles on State Forests, Conversation on Headwaters, WV Christmas Tree
Off-Road Vehicles on State Forests? Say NO to Motorized Vehicles on All Public Lands
Five Senators in the Outdoor Recreation Committee kept off-road vehicles from all our State Forests – at least for now. A bill, SB 468, was filed last week to make Cabwaylingo Forest a permanent Forest Off-Road Vehicle trail system. As filed, SB 468 seemed to prohibit new off-road vehicles trails, at least in our State Parks and State Forests. The Outdoor Recreation Committee drafted a “substitute bill,” that they did not share with the public.
The hearing on the substitute bill happened Wednesday, February 1. The committee substitute bill allowed off-road vehicles in any and all WV State Forests. Just imagine – off-road vehicles all over Kanawha State Forest or Coopers Rock State Forest! Three unelected agency officials would make these decisions. The public would not be notified; the legislature would not have to pass a new law like they did for Cabwaylingo. The vote to approve the substitute bill tied 5-5, which means it did not pass.
Motorized trails are expensive to construct and maintain, cause soil and habitat degradation, threaten watersheds and streams, and impact hunting and fishing. There will be another hearing on SB 468 in Senate Outdoor Recreation Committee – probably this Wednesday. We anticipate another attempt to place off-road vehicles onto public lands.
Here’s an easy action to take to contact all Senators today on the Outdoor Recreation Committee and tell them NO! No off-road vehicles on any more of our State Public Lands.
Mon National Forest to Provide 2023 National Christmas Tree
It is Christmas in WV! Well, not quite yet, but our National Christmas Tree will come from the Monongahela National Forest.
In 1970, the Mon was the first National Forest to provide the People’s Christmas Tree, shown in the picture.
WV’s Mon National Forest will do so again for the third time in 2023.
Read about how the Mon Forest will be making D.C. bright this Christmas.
Conversation on Headwaters: We Want Your Opinion
West Virginia Rivers has finished its community conversations in Mon Forest Towns about recreation opportunities in the Mon Forest. The message was loud and clear: ensure our tradition of pure pristine Mon Forest headwaters now and for future generations. We want your input on how best to protect these headwaters and hear about your concerns for any headwaters policy. Please join us for a “Conversation on Headwaters” on March 23, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. Sign up for your place in the conversation.
Friends of Coonskin Park Continue to Oppose Airport Expansion
Local users of the Kanawha County public park continue to work to save this forested landscape.
Learn more about their efforts on their Facebook page.
Want to see the part of the park that could be lost? Join a hike at Coonskin on Saturday February 11 at 10 am.
Meet Your Public Lands – Audra State Park
This month, we take you to the Middle Fork River, to visit Audra State Park.
Audra is an ideal location for families that enjoy non-motorized recreation. Enjoy hiking along the Middle Fork or take the boardwalks and trails through the overhangs from Alum Cave. Fishing and boating are also nearby. The map of trails, and trail descriptions are found here. Audra has 67 campsites – 39 with electricity.
Audra is also fun in the winter. Check out this article about how Audra turns into a winter wonderland.
Audra State Park is located at 8397 Audra Park Road, Buckhannon, WV 26201.