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UPPER GREENBRIER NORTH

Friends of Blackwater has filed appeals and a 60 day notice on the proposed Upper Greenbrier North Timber Project.

The proposed project is located near the towns of Durbin and Frank, the former home of the National Science Academy. This is an area with prime habitat for “Ginny,” the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel. This is an area where there are major endangered bat cave systems. This is an area that lies between two National Natural Landmarks -- Gaudineer Knob Scenic Area and Blister Swamp.

The streams in this region are famous for a stunning array of rare aquatic species, such as the newly discovered Greenbrier crayfish, native brook trout populations, the candy darter, and the eastern hellbender.
Our appeal asks the Service to protect all of Ginny’s habitat, and to protect threatened bats, who are being decimated by white-nose syndrome. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service are required by law to protect these species in crisis -- but nothing is being done to respond to this plague except to count the bodies!!

The Forest Service describes the proposed project as “red spruce restoration.” Regrettably, this claim is baloney -- an excuse for logging, under the cover of a popular idea. The Upper Greenbrier North proposal does not include one cent for any of the red spruce planting that Friends of Blackwater has always supported. Instead, “restoration” work would be logging, girdling and otherwise eradicating hardwood trees often using poisonous sprays. These are the very trees that endangered creatures depend on for food and shelter.

Some parts of the proposed Upper Greenbrier North Project are good -- such as stream restoration and closing roads that cause erosion. Also, thanks to strong citizen pressures, the Forest Service has reduced (for now) the acreage of timbering in West Virginia Flying Squirrel habitat. FOB may go to court, if our appeal can’t get some compromise on the Project.

Please join us by signing our petition asking the Forest Service to do the right thing.