We got some good news this week, as both of West Virginia’s Senators expressed their support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF supports outdoor recreation and conservation programs around the country, including millions of dollars for projects right here in West Virginia. Both Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley State Park have received LWCF funds, as well as the Monongahela National Forest. However, this popular fund is set to expire in the fall, and it needs to be reauthorized soon. Both Senators Manchin and Capito have signed on to a letter urging their fellow Senators to support LWCF, which is accessible here, but we’re not across the finish line yet. Friends of Blackwater is a member of the West Virginians for Public Lands coalition, and you can learn more about LWCF on the coalition’s page.
More good news! The bond sale for state parks that was passed by the West Virginia legislature this spring was approved by the Economic Development Authority on Thursday. The proceeds from the bond sale will go towards repairs and maintenance to park infrastructure, including sprucing up cabins and lodges, improving ADA accessibility, and expanding internet connectivity. Read the full story here. It is great to see parks getting the funding they need, and even better that the legislature was able to find the funding without resorting to logging.
On August 10th, Friends of Blackwater participated in the Stop Extinction Challenge, a day of action in which people around the country spoke to their legislators about the importance of protecting rare wildlife. We went to the offices of Senators Manchin and Capito, and we weren’t alone in taking action. Over 50 Stop Extinction meetings took place in 23 states that day! If you missed the event, you can still speak up for wildlife. Use our take action page to send a letter to your congresspeople.
We forgot to get pictures of Stop Extinction Day, so the picture above is from a visit to DC this spring.