50th Anniversary of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

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50th Anniversary of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:40 am


Celebrating 50 Years!
Planting the Seeds & Helping Them Grow
50 Years of Tending the Environment in West Virginia

The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy was officially founded in 1967 but the people and Groups that came together to form the organization actually began to meet in 1965 while the first issue of The Highlands Voice appeared in 1969. For many years we were THE environmental organization in the state and tackled issues as diverse in topics as in geography. Some of its major roles were defined early in its existence. Protecting Rivers, Coal Mining, the Monongahela National Forest and other public lands, Highways, Wilderness and Canaan Valley all have deep roots that permeate our history. We will be highlighting some of these issues, the places, and the people involved, in upcoming issues of The Highlands Voice. We’ll also be visiting some of these places throughout the year to see the successes, or sometimes failures, of our work. We’ll get together to celebrate and reminisce with each other at the Canaan Valley Resort State Park, September 15-17, 2017. Register here.

Honoring the Partnerships that formed the Highlands Conservancy in the first place and the ever expanding network of new citizen and environmental partners we’ve worked with through the past 5 decades.

Register here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Noon – Registration and Display set-up begins

1:00pm – Outings organize for departure

3:00pm Displays, Silent Auction, Photo-sharing, Story Telling, Meet & Greet, Workshops, presentations and Round Table Discussions

4:30pm Reception Begins

Conservation Leaders, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

The past meets the future as conservation leaders from all generations gather to reflect on our work, and our love and appreciation for this special place. In lieu of a sit-down dinner, we’ll have a reception with plenty of fare.

5:30pm Welcome, from Diane Hinkle, Tucker County Commissioner and Development Director of the Tucker Community Foundation.

5:45pm Panel Discussions

Canaan Valley – The Promised Land

Winning the nearly 40 year battle against the Davis Power Project allowed for the creation of Canaan Valley, our 500th National Wildlife Refuge.
Mon National Forest, Wild & Wonderful!
Moderated by Dr. Mary Wimmer

Strong Forest Management Plans and Wilderness protection help to keep the “Mon,” Wild and Wonderful. This panel, Moderated by Mary Wimmer, will recall citizen involvement with Forest planning and Wilderness designation. We’ll look back at the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act with Rupert Cutler, Former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources, Forest Planning, Wilderness Designation all the way to current issues with Mon Forest Supervisor, Clyde Thompson.

8:30pm Keynote Speaker

Alan B. Mollohan, Former Congressman


Stars & Salamanders with Frank Slider

Join Master Naturalist, Frank Slider, for a night time hike on Cabin Mountain to observe the autumn constellations from a dark sky site with little ambient light. While up in this high elevation habitat, we will discuss the threatened Cheat Mountain Salamander and how fragmentation of the red spruce forests has exacerbated their decline.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

6:30am Bird walk with Cindy Ellis

7-8:00am Continental Breakfast

8:00am Morning and all-day outings

-Join the Morgantown Area Paddlers with Mary Wimmer and White Grass’ Chip Chase for a canoe, or kayak on the Blackwater River in Canaan Valley.

-Join LeJay Graffious on a visit to the Allegheny Front Migratory Observatory at Dolly Sods. The oldest bird banding station in North America, now in its 60th year of operation.

11:00am Round Table Discussions

Poet’s Round Table

1:00pm Afternoon Outings Organize

1:30pm Workshops, round-table discussions

Partner’s Roundtables
What about those PIPELINES?

4:30pm - A Celebration of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

A celebratory reception honoring and recognizing our History, our Founders as well as our accomplishments.

6:00pm, Dinner

6:45pm Almost Heaven Caught on Film
Photo Safari with Kent Mason

7:00pm Toxic Soup or a Hearty Broth?

A panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. Margaret Palmer. Where Science, Litigation, Activism and Public Interest Intersect.

9:00pm, Square Dance

Featuring Born Old

Born Old is Paul Gartner and Doug Van Gundy. Making music together for over 19 years, they perform regularly throughout West Virginia and surrounding states, and are regularly featured at both the Appalachian String Band Festival (Clifftop) and Vandalia Gathering.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

7:00am, Bird walk with LeJay Gracious

7-8:30am, Continental Breakfast

8:00am Field Trips/Outings

-We’ll join Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI) members to plant red spruce saplings, and tour a Red Spruce forest, discuss its importance and our efforts to restore it.

9:00am Membership Meeting

A brief meeting where the membership will elect new Board of Directors Members.

9:30am Panel Discussion

Maintaining Sanity - In An Uncertain Future

A panel discussion about Climate Change, renewable energy, and sustainability. What does tomorrow hold?

11:00am Box lunches, afternoon outings

-Sinks of Gandy – This easy cave follows Gandy Creek for about 1.5 miles under Yokum Knob. Hard hat and 3 sources of light required.

-Roaring Plains hike on the South Prong Trail with Perry Bryant. A beautiful trail through “blueberry patches, small bogs, spruce, mountain laurel, and good views.”

Contact us at; wvhc50@gmail.com

Program Highlights

Silent Auction – Bring an item!

Displays/Posters – Share what you're working on!

Round Table Discussions - both structured and impromptu discussions around various topics.
Field Trips

Other outings we're working on include:

Scenic Chairlift Rides, $7 adults

Highlands Car Tour, We’ll have a self-guided car tour highlighting regional attractions and scenic destinations.

Abe's Run Swamp hike

Canaan Valley & Davis Power Project

Blackwater Canyon Trail Bike

Join Us!

Contact us for scholarship, volunteer, and low-cost lodging opportunities: wvhc50@gmail.com


Canaan Valley State Park, 800-622-4121

 WVHC 50th special rate of $119/night.
 Cabin Rentals available to sleep 4-12.
 Canaan Valley State Park Campgrounds, Paved, full hookups.
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

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