Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mar-Apr Mountain State Sierran available online

Dear WV Sierra Club Member:

This is your notice that the electronic version of the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of the "Mountain State Sierran" is available for viewing at the WV Chapter website:

Click on "Download PDF Version" for a full-color, searchable version of the newsletter. Or, click on individual article titles for easier online reading.


** Check out the environmental issues being addressed during this year's Legislative Session **

** Find out how you can help the Chapter with your time and energy **

** Reports on Climate Campaign events **

** ExCom Election results **

** Dates of Interest:
     March (various dates) -- Workshops for Gas Well Watchers     
     Mar 9 -- EcoSummit in Morgantown
     Mar 14 -- E-Day at the Capitol, Charleston
     Mar 10-17 -- Mountain Justice Spring Break, Northern WV
     April 1 -- Deadline for Energy Efficiency Contest Entries 
     April 3 -- Showing of Award-winning film, Y.E.R.T., Morgantown

** Lots and Lots of OUTINGS and a welcome to our new Outings Chair

Monday, February 25, 2013

Deckers Creek group needs citizen monitors

Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) is recruiting volunteers who live or work in Preston County to take part in a water quality monitoring program.
    The monitoring is part of FODC’s requirements under a U.S. EPA Environmental Justice grant.
    The citizen-based water monitoring program is part of The Watershed Bill of Rights project.
    The program is designed to help protect the Deckers Creek and surrounding watersheds by educating residents on how to prevent, reduce and eliminate water pollution.
    In a half-day training session, the volunteers will learn how, and be equipped to, monitor streams for data in areas potentially threatened by pollution from new natural gas drilling sites.
    Citizens will do bi-weekly stream monitoring for a variety of chemicals, as well as do a visual survey of work going on near the monitoring site in connection with the gas drilling.
    Data gathered by the Citizen Scientists will be used by the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection and agencies to develop practices and environmental regulations.
    So far, FODC has trained 27 citizen scientists in the Monongalia County region of the watershed, but needs volunteers to monitor the upper reaches, in Preston County.
    Info on becoming a monitor:
Hannah@deckers or 304-292-3970. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Late February/Early March happenings with Mon Group of Sierra Club

Many wonderful opportunities for participation to liven up our lives.

***Morgantown Power Hour: 
Wednesday, February 27, 6 PM at the Morgantown Library
373 Spruce Street, Room A. Sponsored by Energy Efficient West Virginia
Learn how you can advocate for common-sense solutions like energy efficiency that will save you money and avoid more rate hikes by avoiding the unnecessary cost of buying yet another old coal power plant.
     MonPower, your electric monopoly, is planning to purchase an expensive 40-year old coal plant, while refusing to invest instead in energy efficiency programs to meet our power needs, even though energy efficiency is a far cheaper way to meet energy needs when compared to buying an antiquated coal plant for $1.1 BILLION DOLLARS. 
     It's just common sense that we should increase our energy efficiency first, instead of letting MonPower stick the tab of an old, multi-billion dollar coal plant onto our power bills. There are two bills in the legislature this session that would result in the better and less expensive investment in energy efficiency - learn how you can help support these pieces of legislation, which will make your bill go DOWN, not UP like your power company is hoping for.  
For more or 304-346-5891

***Wednesday, February 27 Owl Prowl! FODC, Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia and WV Botanic Gardens hosting.At WV Botanic Gardens 5pm. To RSVP, please email Doug Gilbert at  Our first Owl Prowl on Feb 21 is now full, so we scheduled this second one.

***Thursday, February 28 5-8 PM
Morgantown Green Drinks
Hosted by Downstream Strategies at their offices on High Street

***Upcoming Trainings for Mapping Shale Gas Drilling 
Technology Allows Public to See and Assess Drilling Activity via

Mountain Watershed Association (MWA) and the FracTracker Alliance are offering free, hands-on training sessions for citizens who would like to utilize the new mapping capacities available through, a web-based tool for tracking and visualizing data related to shale gas extraction operations.

Unconventional natural gas extraction has increased in this region over the last few years. The associated environmental and public health concerns have created a desire to track where drilling is occurring near vulnerable populations and areas. These trainings will show people how to find where drilling operations are located and learn more about them. The tool is already being used by citizen water monitoring volunteers and community advocates with the MWA's Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project.

The 2013 dates and county locations for trainings are listed below:
* February 26th - Gallery A, Doubletree Hilton at 340 Racetrack Road, Washington, Pa. 
o BYOL - Bring Your Own Laptop (laptops provided at following trainings)
* March 26th - Butler County 

For more information and to register for an upcoming training, please contact Melissa Troutman:, 724-455-4200 Ext 6.

***Saturday, March 9 - 9 am - 5 pm
WVU Sierra Student Coalition's Eco-Summit at WVU Mountainlair -open to all
We have scheduled presentations, workshops, and field trips on issues ranging from sustainable agriculture practices to the effects of fossil fuel extraction. Some of our keynote speakers include: Kate Rooth with Appalachian Voices, Dr. Michael Hendryx on health effects of coal processing, the Wetzel County Action Group on shale drilling in their county, Elise Keaton with Keepers of the Mountains, and Jon Berger with the Real Food Challenge. The two field trips we have scheduled are going to be guided by the Coopers Rock Foundation and Friends of Deckers Creek. For more information about specific times of programs, please email
More info:
Or email

***March 10-17 Mountain Justice Spring Break
Annual spring break outings aimed at educating and training environmental activists will focus this year on the downsides of coal mining in Virginia and gas drilling in West Virginia.
Mountain State Justice Spring Break targets college students who want to learn about extractive industries. But it's open to any concerned citizen. It explores why Appalachia is a rich land with poor people.
The first event is March 1-10 in the historic mining town of Appalachia, Va., in a region heavily affected by mountaintop removal coal mining.
The West Virginia spring break follows March 10-17 near West Union in Doddridge County, an area surrounded by gas-drilling operations.
Both events offer education, community service, lectures, hiking, music and the chance to engage in direct action. For more information:

***Gas Well Workshop - The first workshop session is March 10 - 14.

In March 2013, the West Virginia Sierra Club, in partnership with citizen experts George Monk and Molly Schaffnit, will conduct an online Gas Well Workshop for people in West Virginia who are interested in looking at gas wells in their area for regulatory compliance and environmental issues. The workshop is for anyone interested in or concerned about new, or old, gas wells in West Virginia.
Enroll in the workshop and you can become a "citizen gas well watcher!"

The Workshop will have three weekly sessions with videos, documents, an exercise, and conference calls.

The Way the Workshop Works

Each class session is scheduled for a week in March. Participants will watch videos, read materials, and complete a session exercise early in the week at their own pace. Then there are two dates/times later in the week to join in a conference call for questions and discussion based on that session.

After completion of the workshop sessions there will be a field trip to an actual well. There workshop participants can see how the online training translates into on-the-ground observation.

Additional resources are available for each session for those who want to learn more. These include links to regulations, Office of Oil and Gas documents, and so on.

"The Workshop videos, documents and additional resources are what we wished we had available when we first started looking at gas wells," said George Monk, workshop leader. 

Yet this is not an "academic" workshop. It's practical, and the goal is to equip citizens with the basic skill and information to observe gas wells. We expect graduates to look at wells, and to report what they find.

To register for the workshop, contact Jim Sconyers at or 304-698-9628. 

***Thursday, March 14 9am-3 pm
WV Environmental Council's annual E-Day! At the Capitol
Capitol Building, Charleston
More info:

***Thursday, March 14th, 6-7:30 pm "Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Backyard." Green Night at the Morgantown Public Library 

***Saturday March 16  9 am- 1 pm (or sooner if we finish earlier) Volunteers Needed for Envelope Stuffing for Sierra Club's Fundraising Appeal
We can use 6-10 people and this is generally a nice social time as we work together. We welcome anyone who is willing to help. Bring snacks to share if you like.
Held at the home of Jim Kotcon and Candice Elliott in Cheat Lake. Check with Candice at 594-3322 for directions.

***Thursday, March 21st, Master Naturalist classes start for 2013. The Master Naturalist Program, run by the WV DNR, consists of lectures and field trips led by botanists and other nature interpreters. The core mission of the program is to train volunteers to assist government agencies, schools and NGOs with research, outdoor recreation development and environmental education and protection. Info at Email to join.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spring Weekends at Tygart Lake State Park

“Check it out! The bird banding weekend at Tygart Lake State Park might be interest to WV Master Naturalists.”

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources                   

Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor                             
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: February 21, 2013

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer 304-957-9365 
Contact: Stephanie Bailey, Program Coordinator, Tygart Lake State Park, 304-265-6144,

Spring Weekends at Tygart Lake State Park Focus on Personal Interests

            GRAFTON, W.Va. – Spring weekends at Tygart Lake State Park include workshops and events dedicated to individual interests and lifetime pursuits.  “Our lodge is large enough to organize small group workshops for people seeking instructional time or classes to learn an art or craft,” said Stephanie Bailey, programs coordinator at this Grafton, W.Va. area destination. >From a writing workshop with Colleen Anderson to a bird banding weekend, Tygart Lake offers weekends for niche audiences. Contact: 304-265-6144 for more information. Weekends and workshops scheduled at Tygart Lake State Park are:

March 1-3, 2013 – Woodland Writing Weekend with Colleen Anderson
            A spring weekend for writers! Writer Colleen Anderson leads this affordably priced Tygart weekend. Enjoy two nights lodging, meals, snacks and workshop tuition. Workshop begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and ends Sunday late morning. The workshop is appropriate for beginners as well as practiced writers. If you journal, blog or love to write, this weekend is for you. Learn more about Colleen Anderson at

March 22-24, 2013 – Beads and Basics Weekend at Tygart Lake
            A beginner’s jewelry making workshop includes use of tools, beads and basic skills. Join Renee Cress of Fossil Jewels and More for a great fun weekend of basic jewelry making. Take home your first project.

April 12-14, 2013 – "Jump Start" Weekend at Tygart Lake
            Jump start Heart Health Month with a weekend get-away focused on getting your body moving. All fitness levels are welcome and activities are designed for all levels. The weekend is made possible by the Harrison County YMCA and its instructors.

April 13, 2013 – Nature Hike
            Join two local master naturalists for a springtime hike and explore the variety of flora and fauna at Tygart Lake State Park. The hike begins at the Recreation Hall/ Nature for a leisurely exploration of the Lake Trail area. Hike starts at 10 a.m. and there is no charge to participate.

April 19-21, 2013 – Spring Knitters Getaway
            This Knitters' Weekend Getaway is a must for anyone who is "hooked" on knitting and enjoys the company of others. Sandra Tolin of Yarn and Company in Elkins, W.Va., is the instructor for a weekend-long adventure in knitting. Advance reservations are required and full details are posted on the Tygart Lake State Park website or call 304-265-6144 for information.

May 3-5, 2013 – "Bird Banding" Weekend at Tygart Lake
            Experience our feathered friends up close and personal. Licensed bird bander Joey Herron leads the weekend of birding designed to engage experienced, novice or backyard birders. Banding is conducted in the morning hours with evening presentations planned. A banding weekend is also scheduled for October 11-13, 2013, to observe fall migratory birds.

            Tygart Lake State Park Lodge is open year-round. The 20 rooms at the lodge face Tygart Lake, as does the dining room, operated by the Boston Beanery. The park website has information about lodge, cabin and camping as well as scheduled special events throughout the year. Visit or call 304-265-6144.

Vivian J 
Vivian Yeager
PO Box 67-Ward Road
Elkins, WV 26241
(304)637-0245 Ext: 2030

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Social gathering Thursday, Feb 28, at Black Bear Burritos in Evansdale

Hope to see you all for dinner at the University Ave Black Bear Burritos Restaurant on 28 February at 6:30pm. Please RSVP just to my email address for head-count purposes.

Greg Waggett
Social Director

ps- Robert M - that's 1830hrs to you (and not the downtown restaurant); Big Mike: the little hand is half way between the six and the 7, and the big hand is on the 6.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mountaineer Audubon March Field Trips

March 9: Cheat Lake field trip.  Meet at 8:00am at Ruby & Ketchy's Restaurant, Route 857 south of Cheat Lake Animal Hospital, or at 7:00am for breakfast.

March 17: Snake Hill WMA Woodcock Walk.  Meet at 5:00pm at Dee Fulton's home, 1030 Snake Hill Road, which is 3.0 miles from Tyrone Road.  First driveway on RIGHT after main parking lot for Snake Hill Wildlife Management Area (Cheat View Trailhead).  Bring a covered dish to share for a pot-luck St. Patrick's Day dinner.  Walk will begin at 7:00pm.

For more information on all field trips, contact Terry Bronson, or (304)225-0999.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Updates and Reminders from Debby

We've decided to cancel the Quebec Run hike originally planned for this coming Saturday, Feb. 16.  Parking lots are still snowed in and access seems uncertain.  We will reschedule!!!

***'Sustainablity' lecture in Room 334 of Percival Hall at 7:30 this evening, Tuesday, Feb 12
***Boparc Birding classes begin this coming Saturday, Feb 12
***Owl Prowl with Doug - Feb 21

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Schedule for Nature Nuts Chapter

The Nature Nuts Chapter of the West Virginia Master Naturalists has provided their 2013 schedule.  Most classes will be held the second Saturday of each month from 8:30am - 4:30pm in the Parkersburg area.  For new members of this chapter, the official start of classes is March 9. 
Check below for the full schedule of courses, instructors, times or click here for printable copy which also includes the locations.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February Fun at Cacapon

Cacapon State Park, in Berkeley Springs, has a variety of activities for winter weekend enjoyment.  Some of the free Saturday activities:

Feb 16: The CCC boys left a legacy that can still be enjoyed all over West Virginia in the forests they planted and parks they helped to build.  Meet the naturalist at the Nature Center at 1:30pm to watch a movie, "A Look in the Past."  Cacapon Resort is an example of CCC construction and many structures built at Camp Morgan remain in use today.

"Birrrds of Winter Hike" is a cool play on words for a 2:30pm bird walk.  Meet the naturalist at the Nature Center to discover who may be around this time of year while enjoying the natural landscape of the Laurel Trail (about 2 miles with a few hills).

"Solutiion for Cold Hands" at 4:30pm teaches attendees how to make a set of hand warmers perfect to put into your pockets.  The 30-minutes craft is at the Nature Center.

Feb 23: Winder Wonderland Hike at 10:30am.  Meet the naturalist at the Nature Center to explore the natural and historic landscape of the Ridge Trail (about 1.5 miles with a few hills).

Pileated Woodpecker Craft invites young naturalists and adults to the Nature Center to make a pileated woodpecker, one of the most frequently seen majestic wookpeckers at Cacapon.

History Stroll is a walk to see various CCC Camp Morgan structures that were built at Cacapon.  Meet the naturalist at the Nature Center at 2pm to learn more about the Civilian Conservation Corps.  This will be an easy 1 mile walk through the park.

"Bear Necessities" is an educational program to learn about a bear's life.  Join naturalist Renee Fincham in the Nature Center at 3:30pm to view a video on different species of bears and their necessities. 

Cacapon State Park info: or 304-258-1022.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sierra Club Hikes Early March

Sat, Mar 16
Valley Falls State Park Day Hike
            rated strenuous-This is a STRENUOUS  hike of about 7.5 miles along the Tygart Valley River between Grafton and Fairmont, WV.  We will do a loop through the park, and stop to see the water falls along the way.  There are steep/rocky sections that can be a bit tricky.  Bring snack/water, trekking poles can be helpful.  Contact Leader for Start Time & Rendezvous Location.
Leader: Aaron Vedock, 540-805-0019,
Nearest town: Fairmont, WV.
Sat, Mar 16
Cacapon State Park Day Hike
rated moderate to strenuous -This will be a 7 mile loop hike with moderately strenuous ascents and descents. Plan on 3 ½ hours for hike. Meet up in the park lodge lobby at 9:30am.  For details and to register contact trip leader.
Leader: Pam Peitz, 240-818-6554,
Nearest town: Berkeley Springs, WV.


Master Naturalist Core Class: Aquatic Habitat Workshop

Sat, Mar 9
Aquatic Habitat Workshop
not rated- Join WV Master Naturalists for this fun, interactive, hands-on workshop at one at our member’s farm in Ritchie County. Guest Speaker Craig Maines will cover aquatic habitats and discuss the effects of acid mine drainage.  Class will be followed by hands-on demonstrations of stream monitoring.  The workshop is free of charge and open to members & nonmembers.  Please pre-register with the leader, seating is limited.  Bring bag lunch. Workshop is from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.  Contact the Outing Leader for further directions and questions.
Leader: Russ Flowers, 304-482-7919,
Nearest town: Ellenboro, WV