Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Money available for wetlands

West Virginia State Conservationist Kevin Wickey said money is available to restore, enhance, protect and manage habitat for migratory birds and other wetland-dependent wildlife through the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP). WREP is a voluntary conservation program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that works through partnership agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations and tribes.
All proposals for this funding are due Dec 15.
Send West Virginia proposals to: Kevin Wickey, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, West Virginia State Office, 1550 Earl Core Road Suite 200, Morgantown, WV 26505.
Priority will be given to proposals that:
* Have a high potential to achieve wetland restoration and significantly improve wildlife habitat.
* Significantly leverage nonfederal financial and technical resources and coordinate with other local, state, tribal or federal efforts.
* Demonstrate the partners' history of working cooperatively with landowners.
* Provide innovation in wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement methods and outcome-based performance measures and methods.
* Provide evidence that wetland restoration and enhancement activities will be completed within two years of easement closing.
* Provide for monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the restoration activities.
* Provide for matching financial or technical assistance funds to assist landowners with the implementation of the Wetlands Reserve Plan of Operations and associated contracts.
* Facilitate the submission of landowner applications.
* Provide for outreach to, and participation of, beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantages farmers or ranchers, and limited-resource farmers or ranchers within the area covered by the agreement.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Forest officials seek feedback

With more than 800 miles of system trails, the Monongahela National Forest has plenty of opportunities for non-motorized recreation, whether on foot, skis, mountain bike or horseback.
Almost all the trails were originally developed with only foot traffic in mind, so many are not suitable for other uses. Maintaining such a large system is also a challenge, since some trails receive very heavy use and others receive almost no use.
In order to better understand how trails are being used, what types of uses are occurring, and to better prioritize future trail development and maintenance work, Monongahela National Forest recreation staff began working on a trails planning process several years ago. To gain public input the forest has partnered with WVU to develop an interactive website.
By visiting the website at montrailssurvey.blogspot.com, people can view current information regarding trails and provide comments regarding the management objectives for each trail. Interactive features allow visitors to fill out a survey for trails and view supplemental maps.
A pop-up screen is associated with each trail. This screen lists the current trail management objective. Because this information might not be accurate, visitors to the website are strongly encouraged to review the information for all trails of interest and submit a survey for each trail for which they can make recommendations.
A WVU graduate student is managing the website and collating data to share with the Forest Service. Site users may contact the student at ewillia83@gmail.com if they experience problems with the website or survey.

Friday, November 12, 2010

DNR now accepting grant applications

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Section is accepting applications for grants through its Wildlife Diversity Unit. Proposals must be submitted or postmarked on or before Nov 19.
The DNR grant program has two categories. One category supports research regarding the population status or natural history of a species, or understanding of the status of ecological communities. The second category funds projects that benefit nongame wildlife or botanical resources though education, conservation, species protection or habitat management.
The application booklet and materials can be found on the Wildlife Diversity website, www.wvndr.gov. Contact Patty Fordyce at 304-637-0245 or pattyfordyce@wvdnr.gov to receive the booklet or for into.

Friday, November 5, 2010

APPAL-ASIAN GINSENG on PBS

Appal-Asian Ginseng
Sunday, November 21 at 10:30 p.m.
on WV PBS and WV PBS.HD
Deeply embedded in the cultural traditions of Appalachia and prized around the world for its healing attributes, ginseng has gone from lowly folk remedy to cult-status treatment. In China, people will buy ginseng even if it means they will run out of money for food. This new documentary explores the unusual connection between West Virginia and Asia because of this mysterious root, and examines the effects that high demand, loss of habitat, and changing climate are having on its survival.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MOUNTAINEER AUDUBON MEETING NOV 9

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9
WINTER BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 7:00pm, our speaker, John Jacobs, will discuss "Winter Birding for Beginners" and help lead us into the winter identification and Christmas Bird Count.

*Note a location change for the October and November meetings is now the Mon Arts Gallery. The address is 201 High St, between Pathfinder and Huntington Bank. Parking behind the bank. Anyone who would like to meet and socialize over dinner at the Mediterranean Deli on High St are welcome beginning at 5:45.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18 - ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
Those interested in participating in this year's annual Christmas Bird Count should contact LeJay Graffious 379-4492 or lejaygraffious@gmail.com. Everyone is welcome to join in this national birding tradition.