Dec 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm #1282636
November 28, 2011
National Park Service to consider new park in W.Va.
By Paul J. Nyden
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Next month, the National Park Service will begin conducting a survey to determine if some areas within the Monongahela National Forest should be made into a national park – something West Virginia doesn't currently have.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., requested the survey, which is scheduled to be completed by September 2012.
On Monday, Manchin said he "is pleased that the National Park Service is undertaking this survey to evaluate whether this beautiful part of our state should be designated as a national park."
The proposed new national park would include lands east of Elkins, north to the towns of Thomas and Davis, east to Petersburg, and south to Seneca Rocks and Franklin.
The park could also include well-known sites such as Spruce Knob, Seneca Rocks, Blackwater Falls, the Otter Creek Wilderness, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Dolly Sods.
http://www.wvgazette.com/Outdoors/201111280116Dec 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm #1808042
Personally, I'd rather these areas remain more obscure and less-traveled. :”,AndyF”Dec 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm #1808069
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Personally, I'd rather see an end to mountaintop removal mining than an attempt to preserve a tiny piece of intact land.Dec 4, 2011 at 9:56 am #1808530
@footeabLocale: Pacific Northwest
I have no problem with mountain top removal. Erosion does the same thing, just takes longer. I have a problem with creating a flat plain where there used to be hills and rills. I have a problem with not saving the top soil and destroying something that is near impossible to recreate without a hundred years of growth. Said topsoil. I have a problem with not putting said topsoil back and replanting as said topsoil is churned into the vast amounts of rubble.
I have been through W. Virginia quite a bit. While I agree its beautiful I wouldn't consider it National park worthy. Enough with the making of new national parks. If its something genuinely unique, then make a national park, but otherwise who really cares? No part of W. Virginia is unique. Sorry.Dec 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm #1809119
I can agree with some of your response Brian. I do have a problem with mountaintop removal. Sorry, but erosion doesn't do the same thing. Flat plains where mountains used to be two years ago is mountaintop removal. If that wasn't bad enough, the rock and dirt pushed into nearby valleys choke the life out of streams. All for crappy met coal that is high in sulphur. Yeah, we all know where that goes. Cough. OK, off the soapbox.
While I agree with you and others about not making other National Parks due to another strapped government agency (Department of Interior), I do think there are unique places in WV. Maybe you just haven't found them. Granted, it's not Yellowstone or Yosemite. But there are some amazing areas within the Monongahela National Forest and other places nearby that are phenomenal! Maybe even Park worthy. We'll see soon enough.Dec 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm #1809123
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
If there's a great place can't we just designate it as a wilderness for the time being? With all the talk of budget cuts I wonder of the NPS really needs a new chunk of land to be responsible for. The NPS does a nice job in areas like Yellowstone where you have more people and a greater need for active management but I imagine anyplace in WV would be adequately protected by calling it a wilderness.Dec 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm #1809169
Much of the area is already federally-designated wilderness, with some designated backcountry and state parks too.
The NP designation might mean more people and more management, such as a permit system and camping location restrictions. I think it's mostly an attempt to bring in federal and tourist money.Dec 6, 2011 at 3:56 am #1809240
I have no problems with making new National Parks and certainly agree that parts of West Virginia are at least as noteworthy as for instance GSMNP. It's not beautiful in the SAME WAY as are Yosemite or Yellowstone but it is beautiful nonetheless and I would propose that anyone who can't see that has serious aesthetic issues. One of my core beliefs is that wild areas are worth preserving for their own sake whether they have epic vistas or not. But I kind of agree with the idea of creating a larger wilderness rather than a national park. Heck, I wouldn't cry if every national forest in the country were re-designated as wilderness, including Monongahela NF, but the logging/mineral/livestock interests would never have it- their use of public land is one of the most profitable and MORALLY CORRUPT subsidies our government commits.
Well, along with corn, sugar, and heck the Bureau of Reclamation, too- Floyd Dominy committed atrocities without number to feed his ambition and narcissism. Christ, he tried to dam the Grand Canyon! It was even criminal that he was still allowed to flood Glen Canyon.
Likewise, if you don't have environmental concerns about mountaintop removal then I would propose that you don't know what mountaintop removal is. It destroys landscapes and pollutes waterways- they just push all of the tailings into nearby valleys which then leaches heavy metals, sulfur, ar senic, etc. into the creeks. Vast parts of West Virginia are now toxic industrial wastelands due to mountaintop removal.Dec 6, 2011 at 4:35 am #1809242
We don't need more entry fees, or fee-camping areas, or backcountry permits, or people thinking they are "doing their part" to protect something that wouldn't need protection in the first place if its "proprietors" hadn't built such big parking lots, hotels and billboards everywhere to invite more customers. With very few exceptions (i.e. archaeological sites), our treasured forests don't need to have "business hours."Dec 6, 2011 at 5:38 am #1809249
Note that the NPS is doing the study at the behest of the local congressman. It's politics as usual – an attempt to bolster the local tourism industry. Parks get more visitors than wilderness areas.Dec 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm #1809577
That's actually why I prefer wilderness areas…Dec 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm #1809849
Exactly. Having hiked in all five wildernesses in WV, I love not seeing a lot of people. It's nice to get away from the masses. These areas should stay as is, with protection from rotating logging plots, possible fracking sites,and any mineral rights. This will be hard though, under the current USFS guidelines for these places.
The current Senator Manchin has big shoes to fill with the late Senator Byrd. Byrd brought massive amounts of money to the state (some pork barrel) during his tenure in office. This could very well be a big political move for Manchin. He has more ties in mineral operations though, than recreational.
I'm sure many in this state will be pulling for this new Park to happen. The only reason I would be on board is for protection of these lands in question. Nothing else though.Dec 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm #1809895
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Sounds like you might have read "Cadillac Desert"
It's a real eye opener!Dec 7, 2011 at 7:56 pm #1809905
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
If only there was a way to not allow logging, but still have relaxed recreational use regs, like allow people to hunt or camp wherever. That is one thing I don't like about "national forests" and "national parks". The rules are too defined based on classification.Dec 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm #1809939
Oh, yes… I have read it. It's scandalous.Dec 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm #1810290
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
A whole new twist to "How the West was Won"
Anyone living west of the 100th meridian really ought to read it. The history of water "development" in the west is amazing.Dec 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm #1813337
@ghost93Locale: Western MD
Amen. Would rather keep the sods fully wilderness. Although it would get some funds to allow propper trail building in the spruce knob backcountry. Last time I went down Judy Springs Trail, it was just a ribbon of dirt washed slick by erosion. Lets not talk about the damage done to Elza Tr and Bear Hunter Tr done by horseback riders.
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