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 […]

a sign reading "no hunting in Chief Logan" at the entrance to Chief Logan State Park

State Park Hunting Controversy Continues

This year, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is expanding the hunting opportunities within state parks. Hunts will take place in 10 parks around the state – Beech Fork, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, Chief Logan, Lost River, North Bend, Pipestem, Stonewall Jackson, Twin Falls, and Watoga. For most parks hunting would take place over a […]

group gathered around a conference table at the Forest Service office in Elkins

National Forest News

The one million acres of the Monongahela National Forest belong to our nation; here’s some recent news about your acreage: Increased Timbering Proposed The U.S. Forest Service has shared projections for future timber harvesting on the Monongahela National Forest. In 2018, 15 million board feet of timber would be cut, affecting an estimated 21,228 acres. […]

person in an orange vest picking garbage out of a wetland area

Community Clean-Up

On May 9th, Friends of Blackwater partnered with the Canaan Valley Institute, Davis Rotary Club and Q&A Associates for a community clean up in the town of Davis. Volunteers removed litter from along Route 32, Camp 70 and a section of Corridor H from four to six in the afternoon. It was great to see […]

musicians performing on the festival stage at Cheat Fest

Cheat Fest Fun

Cheat Fest, the annual music festival fundraiser for Friends of the Cheat, seems to get bigger and better every year. This year was no exception, and spirits were high despite some rain Saturday afternoon. Friends of Blackwater had a table in the non-profit tent, and we enjoyed talking to festival-goers about our watershed restoraion work […]

Tom Rodd with Friends of Blackwater plays banjo and leads the group in a song at the Earth Day event, on Saturday.

Celebrating Earth Day in Morgantown

This Earth Day, the Allegheny Highlands Climate Change Impact Initiative was busy doing the “greenhouse boogie” in Morgantown. The outdoor event featured many groups, including the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School, the Morgantown Bike Board, the West Virginia Botanic Gardens and the Avian Conservation Center for Appalachia. The Dominion-Post had great coverage of the […]


More Land Protected at Bear Rocks

Nearly 2 square miles of land along the Allegheny Front, the eastern rim of the Dolly Sods plateau in Grant County, has been donated to The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia to add to the conservancy’s existing, 477-acre Bear Rocks Preserve. The 1,143-acre gift was made possible through donations from the Ann C. and Robert […]

SS850032Mon Forest closeup of Ginny held

Endangered Species Update June 2018

Friends of Blackwater supporters have been sending hundreds of letters and making dozens of calls to Congress to support the Endangered Species Act. And our voices are making a difference!  Massive public support from across America for the ESA really paid off during negotiations for the Omnibus Spending Bill for 2018. Several “poison pill” amendments […]