Friends of Blackwater works to conserve critical habitat for rare species, and to fight for policies like the Endangered Species Act which will keep West Virginia and the Highlands "wild and wonderful" for future generations.

black bear in ferns

Latest News


Mon Forest Will Reconsider Timbering Plan

In June of 2019, Friends of Blackwater, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy filed objections to a large-scale timbering proposal for 171,579 acres on the Monongahela National Forest located near White Sulfur Springs– called the “Panther Ridge Habitat Enhancement Project.” On November 21, 2019, the Forest Service filed their response, […]


Calling All Research Enthusiasts

By Ashley Archer All of those animal sounds you hear when walking through a forest, like birds calling, frogs croaking, and insects chirping, are used by wildlife to communicate a variety of messages. In addition to sounds that are within the hearing range of your typical human, some wildlife species communicate in the range that […]

a flying squirrel being held in a glove

Friends of Blackwater Supports Flying Squirrel Research

Thanks to many generous supporters, Friends of Blackwater is continuing to support research on “Ginny the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel, conducted by Purdue University researchers on the Monongahela National Forest. The intent of this year’s study was to humanely capture flying squirrels and fit them with radio collars, allowing researchers to then track the […]


Learn more about Endangered mussels

The Fish and Wildlife Service recently protected critical habitat for four species of Endangered mussels. Most of us assume that getting a species listed as Endangered means it will automatically be protected, but in reality it can take years for the agency to designate and protect critical habitat. In the case of these species, it […]


Wildlife Lesson at Local School

On May 16th, Friends of Blackwater visited the Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative in Thomas to talk about wildlife, in honor of Endangered Species Day. Students ranging from 3 all the way up to 12 listed and classified species, deciding which were domestic, which were wild but common, and which were wild and rare. Domestic animals […]

a flying squirrel being held in a glove

Friends of Blackwater Defends Endangered Species in Gazette-Mail

On March 26th, the Charleston Gazette-Mail ran a letter from Friends of Blackwater’s Director Judy Rodd, about the importance of protecting the Endangered Species Act: “The federal Endangered Species Act protects West Virginia’s “wild and wonderful” creatures. Now, proposed regulations from the Trump administration would delay protection, and make other harmful changes. Sens. Manchin and […]

the candy darter, an endangered fish

Candy Darter Listed as Endangered

The candy darter, a small colorful fish found only in West Virginia, has been added to the Endangered Species list by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The candy darter gets its name from its bright red stripes, and is found in the Bluestone, Greenbrier, Gauley and New Rivers. It was first documented in 1931 in […]

view from Lindy Point in autumn

Progress on Parks, LWCF, and more

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 […]