Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ranger Activities July 2010

David Caldwell has sent out information about the July 2010 Ranger Activities in the New River Gorge National River National Park Service. The program allows you to join a park ranger for a special activity, walk, or hike. Ranger-led activities provide an opportunity to learn more about the natural world that surrounds us and about the peoples who have shaped our past.

Click here for a copy of July's scheduled activities.

Visit New River Gorge National River website at

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Save Our Streams training set for Friday in Albright

Friends of the Cheat will host a Save our Streams training event starting at 10am Friday at the Cheat River Festival Site in Albright.
West Virginia Save our Streams Coordinator Tim Craddock will lead a hands-on workshop teaching techniques used to complete a stream bio-assessment. The bio-assessment consists of three basic elements: water quality analysis, physical characterizations, and an assessment of the benthic macroinvertebrate community.
Benthic macroinvertebrates are the small, but visible, invertebrates that live on the bottom of streams. A majority of the day will be spent collecting and identifying benthic macroinvertebrates.
Macros provide food for fish and other important freshwater dwellers. The quantity and types of macros found help determine the health of a stream. Two very different streams will be examined during the training: A stream polluted with acid mine drainage, Muddy Creek at its mouth, and a healthy stream, the Muddy Creek headwaters.
Anyone interested in participating should RSVP to: Andrew Miller, 304-329-3621 or

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FODC holds greenspace work day along rail-trail

A Greenspace Work Day will be from 11am - 2pm Saturday along the Deckers Creek Trail and at the Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) Outdoor Learning Park. Master Gardeners and local seniors will plant a display board and planters along the section near the FODC Outdoor Learning Park. Meet at 11am behind Med-Express in Sabraton.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Preservation of the Cheat Three Tooth Snail

NOTICE: The program entitled "The Preservation of the Cheat Three Tooth Snail in the Cheat Canyon" will take place on Monday, June 28th at 10:30 am. This will be held in Room 320 of Percival Hall, Evansdale Campus of West Virginia University. Presentations by the Cheat Lake Environment & Recreation Association (CLEAR) and by the Copperhead Consulting Group will be made. Representatives of the current
owner of Cheat Canyon forest lands will be present to answer questions, i.e. the Allegheny Forestlands, LLC

NOTE: This meeting represents an update and report of the activities under Consent Agreement 1:05-CV-61 FPS, US District Court, Northern District of West Virginia, of February 5, 2007. This agreement involved Plaintiffs CLEAR, the Friends of Blackwater, and the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club. The original Defendant was Allegheny Wood Products, Inc. who sold their forest land interests in the Cheat Canyon on March 27, 2009. The Copperhead Consulting group has completed the delineation of actual and potential habitat for the Cheat three-tooth snail in Areas 1, 2 and 3 on the north side (river-right) and recently for Area 4 on the south side (river-left). Logging was completed by Allegheny Wood Products last year for the north side and no logging is currently planned for the southside. A northern segment of the Allegheny Trail passes thru the north Areas 1, 2, and 3, but is closed to the public.

Duane Nichols, CLEAR.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Save Our Streams training in Kingwood, WV

Friends of the Cheat will be hosting a Save Our Streams training course
in Kingwood, WV at 9:00 AM. West Virginia Save Our Streams is a
volunteer monitoring program that trains citizen scientists, how to
monitor and become watchdogs over their local wadeable streams and
rivers. The program uses a bioassessment approach, which involves the
collection and assessment of the benthic macroinvertebrates (visible
bottom-dwelling invertebrates) and an evaluation of the stream or
river’s basic physiochemical conditions.

The workshop will begin at the Friends of the Cheat at 9:00. The Friends
of the Cheat office is located at 119 South Price Street, Kingwood, WV
(see below for direction from Morgantown). The class will last
approximately six hours. The 2nd part of the class will be a hands on
demonstration in a creek, so dress appropriately. Boot or waders are
recommended. Lunch is not provided, so a bag lunch may be necessary.

directions from Morgantown:

If you're traveling from Morgantown simply follow Route 7 East until you
enter Kingwood. At the first stop light in town (by the County Court
House, not the Walmart stoplight) take a right onto Price Street. Our
office is located above the Dominion Post Office (look for large DP sign
on your left). You can park in the metered spaces on Price Street, or
take your first left onto Court Street after turning onto Price Street
and park in the gravel lot behind the building.

Andrew Miller
OSM/VISTA - Friends of the Cheat | 304.329.3621

Field Tours to Private Forests Around the State

The following information is from Ellen Voss. Ellen is with the WVU Forestry Extension. Every summer and fall they organize field tours to visit private forests around the state. The purpose of the tours is to educate people about forest stewardship. They are getting this year’s tours together and are trying to reach out to people like Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners.

Ellen Voss
Outreach & Education Coordinator
WV Forest Stewardship Program
P.O. Box 6125, Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-5741

Walks in the Woods 2010

These informal tours will allow participants to learn about forest stewardship by seeing how other landowners have managed their forests. All the events are free and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about forests. Refreshments will be served. For more information or to register for any of the tours, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or email

Taylor County Tour: Thursday, July 8 at 6 pm
WV Forest Stewardship Program
Forest Stewardship property tour near McGee in Taylor County, WV. Light refreshments served beforehand at 5:45 pm.

Nathan Kincaid was the 2007 Tree Farmer of the Year. He will lead us on a tour of his 436-acre property, where he's had a Forest Stewardship plan since 2002. When he purchased the property, it had been heavily logged and Nathan’s goal was to rehabilitate it. He first removed cull trees and grapevines as well as tree-of-heaven, a highly invasive tree species. He's now working on reforesting his property with oak, walnut, and cherry, using a very efficient tree planting technique that he designed himself. Nathan has also constructed some roads. We'll see many good examples of replanting and forest regeneration.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or email

Pendleton County Tour: August 21 at 10 am
Forest Stewardship property tour near Franklin in Pendleton County, WV on Saturday, August 21 at 10 am. A light lunch will be served after the tour.

Charles Agle will lead us on a tour of his 355-acre property, which is under a conservation easement and which has a sustainable forest management plan. Charles has planted wildlife food plots with native bluegrass and has done a mast tree release. He has worked to reintroduce American chestnut on his property by planting the blight-resistant variety grown by the state tree nursery. Agroforestry is also one his interests and he is beginning to raise shitake mushrooms. Charles is passionate about finding ways to make forest land profitable while continuing to protect and enhance it.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or

Hardy County Tour: September 11 at 10 am
Forest Stewardship property tour near Moorefield in Hardy County, WV on Saturday, September 11 at 10 am. A light lunch will be served after the tour.

Lee (Buck) Barb will lead us on a tour of his maple syrup operation, where he taps 4,000 trees with a vacuum system to maintain consistent sap production. Buck uses the reverse osmosis process instead of boiling the sap down, which reduces his fuel costs by over 70 percent. Buck is very knowledgeable about the history and lore of maple syrup production in this area as well as the newest technologies that can help producers maintain a viable maple syrup operation.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or

Marion County Tour: October 2 at 10 am
Forest Stewardship property tour near Fairmont in Marion County, WV on Saturday, October 2 at 10 am. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm. Afternoon tour at 1:30 pm.

State Landowner Assistance Forester Juergen Wildman will lead workshop participants on tours of his own property and an adjacent property. Juergen has planted many hardwoods and conifers on his land, and will demonstrate planting techniques using two types of tree shelters. He has also experimented with various techniques to eradicate highly invasive plants such as oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose, and will share his trials and tribulations so we can learn from his experiences. Juergen will cover many other topics including his ginseng crops, the correct way to thin red maples, and the effects of heavy deer grazing on forest regeneration.

Jim & Dot Ice's property, which we'll visit in the afternoon, is the oldest Tree Farm property in West Virginia: it was signed up in 1956 and nominated for national Tree Farm of the Year. We'll see an area that has been high-graded in the past and the forest stand that has resulted, which is dominated by beech, maple, gum, and other low-value trees. We'll see examples of what makes a good road system through a forested property, and visit an interesting old family cemetery on the Ice’s property.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sixth Annual Purple Martin Festival

10am - 4pm June 26. There will be talks on purple martins. The two houses and gourd rack will be lowered and nest changing to help prevent parasites. You can see the baby birds in different stages of development. Birds will be banded to follow their migration. Last year the park fledged 152 babies. Food is available. Admission is free and the park will give away door prizes. Take I-79 to Exit 1 Mt Morris, Pa., to Buckeye Road to Creek Road on right 1/2 mile to Mason-Dixon Park, Pa. Info: 304-879-5500 or 724-627-7632 or, or

Sierra Club hosts ice cream social at Cooper's Rock

The Sierra Club will have its annual ice cream social at 6:30pm today at Cooper's Rock State Forest in Shelter 1. This is a family friendly social gathering where the club shares food and stories, and makes hand-cranked ice cream to eat at the overlook. Bring some food to share with the group. Plates, cuts and utensils will be provided.
Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies will speak about where coal combustion waste is being dumped in the area and how this places water at risk of contamination. The group will then generate some comment letters to the EPA about its proposed coal ash regulation guidelines. Info: 304-594-3322

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I asked George Longenecker about the upcoming workday at the WV Botanic Garden:

June 19th work day: I would like to do some pruning along the trail around the reservoir basin. There are many places that things are obstructing the trail. Most can be done with hand saws and loppers. There may also be some planting to do if we have a large enough group.

So come out and earn some volunteer hours. Workdays are held the third Saturday of the month and starting at 9:00 and ending around noon. Wear suitable clothing and shoes. Don't forget your gloves. Tools are provided, but if you have your own tools, bring them along. Also a good idea to bring water. I won't lie to you, you do work. But I guarantee coming back to the Garden and seeing what you accomplished will give you a sense of pride. Plus you have a good time.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trail Clearing @ Cranesville Swamp June 11

In preparation for the Nature Conservancy's 50th anniversary celebration at Cranesville Swamp on June 26th come have some fun and earn some volunteer hours helping to clear trails.

When: June 11 from noon to 4:00
Where: Cranesville Swamp

For more information and to sign up contact: Mike Powell, land steward, or

For directins to Cranesville Swamp: