Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bird walk scheduled in South Park

Mountaineer Audubon will host its second annual South Park Bird Walk, led by Kelly Williams, at 5pm, May 14. Meet in the Morgantown High School Parking lot.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friends of the Cheat seeks volunteers to plant trees

Volunteers are needed to help with planting more than 3,000 hardwood trees on a former strip mine in Albright. Friends of the Cheat has partnered with Camp Dawson Natural Resources, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative and the International Coal Group (ICG) to do the planting.
Volunteers should meet at the North Preston Quick Stop, on WVa 26, Albright, at 9am, April 2. The group will carpool to the planting site, which is just across the Cheat River, but requires four-wheel drive to access. If you arrive after 9am, look for signs directing you to the planting site. Plantings tools will be provided, but you may bring your own. The Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee will provide a cold lunch for the volunteers.
To volunteer: Andrew Miller, 304-329-3621 or
This project represents a new approach in surface mine reclamation. Surface mines across Appalachia were often reclaimed by heavily compacting the soils and seeding a thick mat of grasses, which prevents the natural succession of the native trees and shrubs, leaving an ecological desert. The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, a partnership of state and federal agencies, academia, citizen groups and industry, promotes a method call the Forestry Reclamation Approach that emphasizes using loosely compacted soils to allow for tree growth. The Albright site was "ripped" by Camp Dawson Natural Resources in October 2010 to loosen the soil. ArborGen, commercial tree nursery in Summerville, SC, has donated 3,300 hardwood tree seedlings to this project. Ten blight-resistant American chestnut seedlings also will be planted. Info:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Maurice Brooks Lecture

West Virginia’s Golden Eagles and Wind Energy:
new threats along historical migration routes.

Todd Katzner, PhD

For thousands of years Eastern Golden Eagles have migrated unmolested from Canada to wintering grounds in the central Appalachians. In the past decade a new potential threat has emerged on their migration pathways – wind turbines. Yet although turbines
have killed hundreds of Golden Eagles in the western USA, there are no records of this species being killed by wind facilities east of the Mississippi and the degree of risk turbines pose to migratory eagles is almost completely unknown.

April 19. 2011
7:00 p.m.
317 Percival Hall

click here to view flyer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Canaan Wildlife Refuge to host walk

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge will have an "Early Spring Birds" walk led by volunteer Casey Rucker at 8am March 26. Participants will meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge visitor center on W.Va. 32. Participants are urged to dress in layers and wear comfortable walking boots or shoes.
Binoculars will be provided or participants may bring their own. Water may be carried if desired. The program is free and will last about two hours. The walk is sponsored by the Refuge and the Friends of the 500th.
Info: 304-866-3858.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Marcellus and the Gas Industry in WV

John Bocan has forwarded the following information:

Some of the group may be interested in some upcoming lectures by the WVU Extension Office called "Fundamentals of Natural Gas Exploration & Leasing" featuring folks from WVU Geology, WV DEP and WV Water Resources. Sessions (same one) will be offered in different counties. The one for Monongalia County is set for May 10th.

For more information about the presentation check Fundamental of Natural Gas Exploration and Leasing

For the full schedule check the link from the WVU Extension Service webpage
Oil & Natural Gas

Funding for this effort was provided by Chesapeake Energy, Dominion, and EQT.

Friends of the Cheat encourages citizens to attend and ask questions.
Best Regards,
John Bocan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Indian Interpretation in the Trans-Allegheny Region

Erin requested that I post the following e-mail she received:

I wonder if you would do me a favor and help publicize an April 13th day-long event we've organized with the WV Div. of Culture and History? It's a symposium called, "Telling the Stories: American Indian Interpretation in the Trans-Allegheny Region."
It will be of interest to anyone working in public history sites and organizations in our region. I've attached the flyer for the symposium--it's a free event, lunch included, but registration is required (the link is on pg. 1 of the symposium flyer).

We also have a public lecture scheduled on Tuesday evening, April 12 at 5:00 p.m.--that's also free and is open to the public. All the info is on the second flyer I've attached.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Become an Invasivore

I subscribe to a weekly on-line gardening newsletter, Dave's Garden. I found this article by Bev Walker particularly intriguing:

Become an "Invasivore" in 3 easy lessons!
There is a movement afoot calling for the eradication of several out-of-control nonnative species via knife, spoon, or fork! A human that hunts, harvests, and devours invasive species that threaten their local environment is known as an invasivore. I suppose that also makes them a locavore, and possibly an omnivore, if both plants and animals are on the menu! You can easily become an invasivore, too, if you know where to look and how to cook.
Continue reading..

We hope to offer an elective class this year on local invasive species. You may even get the opportunity to volunteer locally at either the Core Arboretum or the West Virginia Botanic Garden to help eradicate some of these plants.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Request from Canaan Valley MN

Andrea Dalton of the Canaan Valley Master Naturalists sent out the following request:

Our presenter this year for Wildflowers and Weeds is in the process of developing his presentation and asked if anyone has any pictures or info from their presentation they would be willing to share.
Thanks, all.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blackwater Falls 50th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage May 5-8, 2011

May 5-8
50th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage
Blackwater Falls State Park
An interpretive weekend packed with bird walks, wildflower tours, nature programs, craft exhibits and sales. Advanced reservation required. Annual event co-sponsored by WV Federation of Garden Clubs and WVDNR. Contact: 304-558-2754.

Note: above link will take you to all events planned for Blackwater Falls.

New River Birding and Nature Festival May 2-7, 2011

The New River Birding & Nature Festival takes place in and around the New River Gorge National River. Administrated by the National Park Service, this area is the heart of the upland, hardwood forests that Cornell Lab of Ornithology has identified as a crucial stopover habitat for the continued survival of species such as Golden-winged, Blue-winged, and Swainson's Warbler, as well as the Scarlet Tanager. This bird watching festival highlights more than 100 bird species on a variety of birding tours.

A friendly birding vacation for everyone, this week long event features guided birding excursions, world-class speakers, the finest collection of guides at any festival destination anywhere, tasty food, and a back-porch atmosphere unmatched by any other birding festival. Signature guided bird watching experiences include the opportunity to visit a wide range of habitats, world class instruction for those wanting to enhance their birding skills, and the best guide-to-guest ratio on the festival circut.
More information can be found here.