Protecting the Blackwater Canyon and Allegheny Highlands
time lapse photo of Blackwater Falls

We are building a circle of love and protection around the landscapes and communities that we cherish.

Friends of Blackwater works to protect and promote natural beauty, diverse creatures, unique heritage, and the outdoor recreation economy in the Mid-Atlantic Allegheny Highlands -- home to the magnificent, 10,000-acre Blackwater Canyon – West Virginia’s “Scenic Crown Jewel.”  Our professional staff and grass-roots citizen advocacy are a strong force for responsible conservation and sustainable progress in the Highlands.  Join us!

The June Newsletter is Here!

Get the latest issue of the Friends of Blackwater newsletter online, featuring historic signs, watershed restoration, Endangered Species, and more.

Read all about it!
Kent Mason Bear Rocks

Protect the Endangered Species Act!

Tell Congress: "We need a strong Endangered Species Act to protect the natural world for today and future generations."

Use the form at the right to send a message telling Congress to preserve the Endangered Species Act.  The ESA has protected Canaan Valley, the Blackwater Canyon, and the Monongahela National Forest. National symbols like the bald eagle were saved by this landmark law. Republican and Democratic Presidents have used the Act to make our country a better place.

The ESA has been working as it was designed, and there is no reason to change it. Tell Congress that we Americans are counting on them to hold the line and preserve the environmental protections that we have fought so hard to achieve.

Upcoming Events

Connect with Friends of Blackwater at these upcoming special events
Harper’s Ferry Outdoor Festival poster

Visit us at the Harper’s Ferry Outdoor Festival

We are happy to announce that Friends of Blackwater will once again have a table at the Harper’s Ferry Outdoor Festival, which is June 22nd and 23rd this year. 2018 marks the 20th and final year of the festival, which raises money for river conservation. If you’re going to be in the eastern panhandle that […]

miners from brochure

Lecture: Tucker County’s Immigrant History

July 1st, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Cottrill Opera House in Thomas During the height of Tucker County’s industrial boom at the turn of the 20th century, a large number of Eastern and Southern European immigrants were attracted to work on the railroad, cutting timber, and mining coal and coke.  The county’s population was so […]

old growth tree in Watoga State Park

Old Growth Forest Hike

On Sunday July 15th, join Friends of Blackwater and naturalist Doug Wood at Blackwater Falls State Park to learn about old growth forests. We will meet at the Harold Walters Nature Center (near Pendleton Lake) at 1 p.m. for an introductory talk about the characteristics of old growth forests, before heading into the park to […]

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Friends of Blackwater is a 501(c)3 non-profit working to protect the Blackwater Canyon and Allegheny Highlands region


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Latest Blog Posts

Keep up with Friends of Blackwater!
historic photo of JR Clifford and other attendees of the Niagara Conference

Who was J.R. Clifford?

John Robert Clifford was West Virginia’s first African-American attorney, a newspaper publisher, editor and writer, a schoolteacher and principal, a civil rights pioneer, a founding member of the Niagara Movement (forerunner to the NAACP), a Civil War veteran, and a graduate of Storer College. Clifford was born in 1848, near what is now Moorefield, West […]

a wood turtle walking across leaves

Species Spotlight: Wood Turtles

By, Steven Krichbaum (Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology) The Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) occurs from northern West Virginia and Virginia through the northeastern US into southern Canada. They are “very rare and imperiled” and a “species of greatest conservation need” in WV’s wildlife conservation strategy. Adult Wood Turtles have a brownish knobby carapace (upper […]

Friends of Blackwater

Caring and courageous people are the key to effective environmental stewardship. These people and their stories are a part of Friends of Blackwater.
Purdue University researcher Liz Flaherty

Friends of Ginny!

Purdue University scientist Elizabeth Flaherty, and her graduate student are learning important new information about the diet of "Ginny", the West Virginia Flying Squirrel.
volunteers stand in front of a historic site

Blackwater Volunteers

These energetic volunteers are upgrading historic sites in the Blackwater Canyon.
postage stamp of civil rights lawyer J.R. Clifford

J.R. Clifford

West Virginia’s first African American attorney, who won a historic victory for equality in education. (1848-1933)
herpetologist Dr. Pauley with a snake and a turtle

Dr. Tom Pauley

Dr. Pauley has studied the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander for 40 years, while raising up new generations of skilled biologists. 
volunteer getting ready to go monitor flying squirrels

Brianna All

Brianna All spent a summer deep in the Monongahela National Forest, monitoring the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel.
group of people with a sign that says "Save the Blackwater Canyon"

Save Blackwater Canyon supporters

Supporters at Cheat Fest sign a photo petition with Ginny the flying squirrel, to help save Blackwater Canyon.

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