Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Conservation Groups Scrutinize Monongahela Timber-Harvest Proposal

Play

Tuesday, January 18, 2022   

A U.S. Forest Service timber-harvest proposal in Pocahontas County has conservation groups worried about potential harmful impacts to endangered freshwater fish species, like the candy darter.

Rick Webb, board member of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance, explained dirt and gravel roads needed for logging also increase the risk of erosion and sediment in nearby streams, which can compromise habitat for brook trout, the candy darter and other aquatic life.

Webb wants the Forest Service to conduct more research to alleviate these concerns.

"An Environmental Impact Statement would provide an opportunity to look at the existing conditions," Webb explained. "What the sources of sediment are, and to specifically identify what needs to be done to prevent creating additional sources."

He added more data would help to ensure the project complies with the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. The Forest Service maintains the project would improve forest health and future wildlife habitat, and be a source of future commercial timber sales and economic development.

Kent Karricker, board member and public lands committee chair for the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, said in the past, the Forest Service has done a good job of closing up paths used by loggers to move heavy machinery and timber.

"It's an issue we've been working with the Forest Service on for some time," Karricker noted. "They've been doing a lot of good work as well, decommissioning old skid routes."

Karricker believes the potential increase in sediment from the project could compromise critical habitat.

"Show us the evidence that this is going to work as planned," Karricker urged. "And if it's not going to work as planned, show us some protection measures that are going to mitigate or eliminate these impacts."

Webb argued West Virginians could benefit from a balanced approach to managing the state's national forests.

"The national forests are the best of what remains of our natural wild landscape," Webb pointed out. "Many species depend on that, and they're disappearing. Both the brook trout and the candy darter are greatly reduced from their original distribution."

The two species are both native to West Virginia streams.

Disclosure: West Virginia Highlands Conservancy contributes to our fund for reporting on Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Aside from health risks, environmental officials say harmful algae blooms pose a threat to Iowa's water recreation industry. When beaches and other access points are temporarily shut down, it discourages plans for boating or swimming. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

Social Issues

Advocates are contending the New York State Senate is not doing enough to lower the price of prescription drugs. Recently, lawmakers dropped bills …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021