Out of country report from Chris Chanlett,
Greenbrier River Watershed Board member.
When in Bologna, Italy…..you might just walk into a loud demo on climate. Walking through quarter of medieval shops (piles of fish, cheese, produce, utensils etc), we saw a stream of marchers and heard the pounding percussion.
I found myself walking in front of a banner we had seen hanging outside a school across the street where we staying in a tiny AirBnB. It read, "Let’s destroy the system that kills. Stop war. Alternative to climate disaster." It was mostly young people.
We were on our way to attend a yoga retreat in Tuscany led by our daughter Sadie. She was simultaneously in the March in Milan organized by Fridays for the Future. She collected some of the English signs such as:
* I’m already hot
* I’m sure the dinosaurs thought they had time too
* You can’t recycle wasted time
* Get in, loser, we’re going to a protest
* These seasons are more irregular than my period
It was exciting to see young people fighting for their future. But the next day the Italians voted in a far right government which denies the problem.
A small, two-mile portion of the 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail, located between Mile Post 3.75 and Mile Post 5.53, will be closed starting Oct. 3 and remain closed until Feb. 29, 2024.
Greenbrier River Trail Partial Closure
The City of Lewisburg is pleased to announce it has secured funding and is moving forward with a water infrastructure upgrade project. The investment is designed to prepare the city to be able to accommodate the growth being generated by economic development and tourism in the region.
The upgrade creates a more resilient and reliable water supply designed to improve the quality of the water delivered to the community. This upgrade also includes the installation of generators designed to keep water available during power outages for residents.
“This water improvement project is vital to the growth of the City of Lewisburg and the surrounding areas,” said City Manager Misty Hill. “We appreciate everyone’s support and collaboration as we begin this important project, especially Gov. Jim Justice, the Department of Commerce and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), which is helping us mitigate the temporary loss of trail access at Caldwell.”
A small, two-mile portion of the 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail, located between Mile Post 3.75 and Mile Post 5.53, will be closed starting Oct. 3 and remain closed until Feb. 29, 2024.
To assist trail users while the project is underway, the city will install a new trailhead entrance with parking at Hopper (Harper Road). There will be temporary parking provided at Hopper (Harper Road) once construction starts in October. Permanent parking will be completed on WVDNR property in December 2022.
The City of Lewisburg will provide maps, updates on the water upgrade and additional information as it becomes available. City of Lewisburg Facebook Page
Stay Safe ~ Be Careful
MUCH OF OUR WATERSHED IS UNDER A FLOOD WATCH THROUGH SATURDAY
FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON [Friday] THROUGH
* WHAT...Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.
* WHERE...Portions of North Carolina, Virginia and southeast West
Virginia, including the following counties, in North Carolina,
Alleghany NC, Ashe, Caswell, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Watauga,
Wilkes and Yadkin. In Virginia, Alleghany VA, Bedford, Bland,
Botetourt, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Craig, Floyd, Franklin,
Giles, Grayson, Halifax, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania,
Pulaski, Roanoke, Smyth, Tazewell and Wythe. In southeast West
Virginia, Mercer, Monroe and Summers.
* WHEN...From 2 PM EDT this afternoon through Saturday afternoon.
* IMPACTS...Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers,
creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...
- The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Ian are expected to bring
widespread 2 to 4 inches of rain through Saturday early
afternoon. Locally higher amounts up to 6 inches are also
possible, especially along the Blue Ridge, and any areas
where bands of heavy rain remain situated for extended
periods of time.
- For flood safety information, please visit
Last Gasp For Mountain Valley Pipeline Natural Gas Project
The Mountain Valley Pipeline saga is not over, but the writing is on the wall for the US natural gas industry in West Virginia and elsewhere.
September 29, 2022 |Tina Casey|Clean Technica
Natural gas stakeholders thought they had the new Mountain Valley Pipeline in the bag over the summer. Well, that was then. New federal legislation that would have cleared the way for Mountain Valley and other fossil energy projects has been stripped from a must-pass spending bill by its own sponsor, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). The move surprised nobody who has been paying attention, but it does send up plenty of red flags for fossil energy stakeholders.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline Grinds To A Halt, For Now
Like the notorious Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline has come to symbolize the fossil energy industry’s insistence on ambitious but badly outdated infrastructure projects. “MVP is being recognized as a critical infrastructure project that is essential for our nation’s energy security, energy reliability, and ability to effectively transition to a lower-carbon future,” the pipeline developers state on their project website.
“…the project is strongly supported by a broad coalition of elected federal, state and local officials; state chambers of commerce and other business groups; landowners; public utilities; natural gas producers; and other non-governmental organizations,” they add.
That’s all well and good, but other broad coalitions disagreed. CleanTechnica has followed the goings-on since 2017, when the Sierra Club joined with grassroots groups and other organizations to stop the pipeline’s 300-mile route through West Virginia and on into southern Virginia.
Despite the developers’ attempts to push the project through, by 2021 the groundswell of opposition reached critical mass, with the pipeline’s route through Jefferson National Forest becoming a key issue. In January of this year, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals suspended MVP’s permit to cross the forest for the second time, having previously told it to go back to the drawing board in 2018.
As of this writing, the spending bill has passed the Senate without Manchin’s legislation and it is headed to the House, with passage expected in time to avoid a government shutdown this Friday.
“Manchin’s decision to drop the language now leaves in limbo Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s stalled $6.6 billion Mountain Valley pipeline in his home state,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, adding that “The decision spells the end for now for an effort by Manchin to convince his colleagues to support compromise energy permit changes that he argued were key to US energy independence and transition to renewable sources.”
Regardless of Manchin’s affection for the natural gas industry or the rightward drift of voters in his home state, the Mountain Valley Pipeline faces an uncertain future. So does natural gas, for that matter. Although the industry seems firmly entrenched at present, stakeholders should take a lesson from the experience of the coal industry. Coal was king in West Virginia for generations, until natural gas knocked it off the top of the energy pile. Now natural gas is threatened by a host of newcomers, including West Virginia’s unique geothermal assets.
New legislation in West Virginia has also broken up a longstanding solar energy bottleneck. As of last year the state only hosted 18 megawatts in installed solar capacity. That will be eclipsed many times over by the new 250-megawatt SunPark array, which will sprawl over a former coal field.
In another interesting development, earlier this month West Virginia Governor Jim Justice — whose family fortune was also made on coal — collaborated with state lawmakers to bypass the state’s Public Service Commission, which has gained a notorious reputation for throwing up roadblocks to renewable energy development. The first project to benefit from the new legislation is a $500 million microgird for a new industrial park in Ravenswood powered by renewable energy, under the umbrella of the company Berkshire Hathaway Energy. The initial beneficiary will be BHE’s Precision Castparts Corp. subsidiary, which is tasked with developing a titanium melt facility for a variety of industries including the aerospace area.
That’s just for starters. Berkshire Hathaway has already established itself as a leader in the Midwestern wind energy industry, and apparently it is eyeballing West Virginia as a golden opportunity to replicate that success in Appalachia. “The Ravenswood project will serve as the foundation for additional pivotal investments in West Virginia,” BHE stated in a press release dated September 13.
The press release also cited Governor Justice, who said, “The partnership we are forging with BHE Renewables and PCC is testament to West Virginia’s ability to compete on the world stage and recruit world-class companies like these to our state. I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that West Virginia will help lead the way into a new era of renewable energy microgrid-powered manufacturing.”
Story has been edited for length. Original HERE
Manchin seeks bipartisan ‘sweet spot’ for a new try at his energy permitting bill
Fate of Mountain Valley Pipeline provision unclear
September 28, 2022 |Jennifer Shutt|/ Virginia Mercury
WASHINGTON — U.S. senators from both parties said Wednesday they still hope to negotiate an energy permitting reform bill this year, reviving efforts to streamline the process after West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III had to pull back his plan amid broad opposition.
The Manchin proposal was attached to a must-pass government funding bill as part of a deal he struck with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this summer to advance the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act. But permitting reform was rejected by GOP senators irked by that deal, as well as members of his own party.
A large group of House Democrats — and a smaller Senate cohort — intensely opposed what they characterized as a fossil-fuel-friendly measure from the start, saying Manchin would weaken environmental protections and make it more difficult for communities to object to new construction. The House opposition was led by progressive Arizona Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva, but included leaders of budget and spending panels as well.
Senate Republicans meanwhile refused to endorse the Manchin-Schumer deal that allowed the passage of Democrats’ sweeping climate, health and taxes bill this summer, even if they agreed in principle that permitting requirements should be updated.
Despite the widespread condemnation of his measure, Manchin said Wednesday he expects to keep working to get an agreement before the new year, a goal many of his fellow senators said they share.
Manchin said he plans to talk with fellow West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, when the two are back in their home state next month, noting he’s optimistic the duo can work out a final bill.
“We just have to find the sweet spot, find the middle that kind of appeases the majority,” Manchin said. The centrist Democrat nodded when asked by a reporter if Schumer had assured him he’d try again with another floor vote.
Schumer pledged Tuesday evening, after stripping Manchin’s permitting bill from the must-pass government spending package, to “have conversations about the best way to ensure responsible permitting reform is passed before the end of the year.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement Tuesday night saying President Joe Biden “supports Senator Manchin’s plan because it is necessary for our energy security, and to make more clean energy available to the American people.”
“We will continue to work with him to find a vehicle to bring this bill to the floor and get it passed and to the President’s desk,” she added.
Whether Manchin’s bill would still include the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline running from West Virginia to Virginia was unclear on Wednesday.
Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who was furious Manchin’s permitting reform bill included approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, said he believes there’s a good outlook for a bipartisan permitting reform bill, estimating it could get at least 70 votes in the Senate.
Work on permitting reform so far by the Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Delaware Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Manchin, has already found a good starting point to a bipartisan bill, Kaine said.
“They worked on it very, very carefully,” Kaine said, noting he’s not on either of those panels. “I don’t want to tell them what their timing should be. But they’re down the road and there’s a bipartisan group that want to do it, including me.”
On the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Kaine said he didn’t want to get into “a hypothetical world and what might be acceptable.”
But Kaine, who has said he was not consulted about the inclusion of the pipeline in the Manchin plan, did say the way Manchin handled the pipeline in his bill wasn’t the right way to go.
“It was taking something out of permitting and saying ‘You don’t have to comply,’” Kaine said. “But permitting reforms could make the process better and then Mountain Valley and others could have a better process to go through.”
Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines said during a brief interview Wednesday he hopes there’s a way for Democrats and Republicans to draft a bill after the elections and before the next Congress begins that both parties could support.
“It’s an issue that we need to address. And it’s a significant obstacle to continue to allow us to develop our natural resources,” Daines said. “It’s not just about energy. It’s also about forestry. It’s about mining and it takes way too long to get projects approved.”
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said a permitting reform bill is essential for lawmakers who want to see more fossil fuel extraction as well as those who want “cleaner forms of energy.”
“I hope we can sit down and put together a permitting bill,” Kennedy said. “I mean, no fair-minded person can believe that it should take five, seven, eight years to get a project permitted in America. I don’t care what the project is.”
Kennedy said the rejection of Manchin’s permitting reform bill was about more than just signaling the GOP wanted a more bipartisan bill.
He said it was about members of both parties sending a message to Manchin following months of negotiations on the Democrats’ spending package from this summer that included money for renewable energy, among dozens of other provisions.
“What I saw happen yesterday — how can I explain this — two wrongs rarely make it right,
but they do make it even, and what happened yesterday was people who are unhappy with
Senator Manchin, on both sides of the aisle, made it even."
– Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana
Story has been edited for length. Original HERE
The Greenbrier River Watershed Association will host a table at
TOOT in Lewisburg, Saturday, October 8th.
We will be selling apple cider and cookies for fundraising.
If you would like to contribute some cookies, here is what we would like:
*Cookies should be made in any fish/water creature habitat theme~
see idea photos
* Any amount is fine, any size is fine, fancy or plain
* We will price them accordingly.
* Drop them off at Patina @1046 Washington St, Lewisburg
Wed/Thurs Oct 5/6 between 10 and 5 pm. Tell them this is for Willow.
* Per Health Department rules:
-We will need a list of your ingredients
-They will need to be individually wrapped
* Shoot us an email if possible, firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you are contributing just so we can get an idea
of how many we will have.
* Stop by our table 11 - 3pm. We will have activities for kids and educational material about our watershed.
Thanks in advance & Hope to see you there!
Thank you to for helping
keep our watershed clean!
HUNTERS and ANGLERS CLEAN UP — Tires, tanks and appliances were just a few of the large items removed from illegal dumpsites in Monongahela National Forest’s Big Draft Wilderness during a National Public Lands Day clean up event this past Saturday [September 24, 2022]. Volunteers from the West Virginia Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers creatively used a pulley system to haul discarded items out of steep hollows in the wilderness area. The non-profit organization is dedicated to stewardship of North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing and also removed building materials such as lumber and shingles, along with roadside trash.
Discover more about the Big Draft Wilderness HERE
USDA Forest Service photos by Matt Edwards. From left to right: Matt Kearns and Russell Cronquist.
The 5th Annual Greenbrier River Trail Marathon
& 2nd Annual Half-Marathon
October 2, 2022
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
A one of a kind race, in the State of West Virginia: A point-to-point full marathon (26.2 miles) on a flat/slightly downhill (1% grade) course and the official inaugural half-marathon (13.1 miles - out-and-back course) on the scenic Greenbrier River Trail (GRT) in Pocahontas County, WV. The Marathon starts in Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and runs south on the trail, finishing at Stillwell Park, in Marlinton, WV. USATF-certified Course! Whereas, the Half Marathon (not-certified) will start and finish at Stillwell Park in Marlinton.
The Half Marathon will exit Stillwell Park, turning right onto the trail, heading south; hitting the turnaround at 6.55 miles and heading back to finish at Stillwell.
More info HERE
Farm Field Day
October 5, 2022
587 Seneca Trail South
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Mark your calendars and come out to Shawlin Hills Farm for an educational adventure with the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District, our cooperating agencies, and guest speakers! We'll provide hotdogs, all the fixin's, and drinks for lunch.
Please RSVP as soon as possible! Last-minute bookings are encouraged!
More info HERE
2022 and the Climate Crisis -
What just happened and what's ahead?
October 3, 2022
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Rising temperatures, severe climate change impacts, and an accelerating energy transition are taking place around the globe. In the United States, major national climate and energy legislation has just been enacted. What will this new legislation mean for West Virginia, America, and the planet?
The West Virginia Center on Climate Change, partnering with the West Virginia Citizen Action Group and the West Virginia Climate Alliance, will present a free, live, expert-led, audience-interactive “hybrid webinar” program – in-person at the Erma Byrd Gallery at the University of Charleston in Charleston WV, and online via Zoom. Learn more and register here.
The main program speaker will be Christina DeConcini, Director of Government Affairs at the World Resources Institute, where she oversees WRI’s legislative work and strategy on climate change and energy issues. She is a Board Member of the Woodwell Climate Center (formerly Woods Hole Research Center) and President of the Board of the Pricing Carbon Initiative. She serves as an advisor to Rural Investment to Protect our Environment and Keeping Current: A Sea Level Rise Challenge for Greater Miami. She earned a J.D. at Northeastern University and a B.A. in History at UC San Diego.
Also speaking on the program panel will be John Barnette, Ed.D., Professor and Associate Dean and Executive Director of Leadership & Professional Development Programs at the University of Charleston. John Barnette served as the Commander of the West Virginia Army National Guard for 15 years, where he directed the training and readiness preparation of Guard units for wartime and emergency response missions. He is a teacher and leader in adaptation to the energy transition and climate change.
Also speaking will be Perry Bryant, who helped found the West Virginia Climate Alliance, a broad-based coalition active in promoting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming below an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius; a just transition for coal mining communities; and environmental justice. Perry is the principal author of the West Virginia Citizens Guide to Climate Change, and A Summary of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Mountain State Forest Festival
October 1-9, 2022
The Mountain State Forest Festival is the oldest and largest festival in the great state of WV. Each festival year brings a week long schedule of specialized events that cater to all ages and interests.
A 10K race starts off festival week, then outdoor sporting competitions such as strongman and lumberjack – tree climbing, wood chopping, fly fishing etc., a minor and major parade that draws over 85,000 spectators, a distinguished guest dinner with well-known speakers, a black-tie ball, a major act musical concert, an art and photography competition, and much more.
Also during festival week is a 3 day city park event bringing vendors and exhibits that cater to citizens and surrounding public school students with a designated “kid’s day at the park.” It’s a real cultural landmark that showcases WV in all its autumn glory.
The festival promotes the prudent development and conservation of our abundant natural resources for future generations and fosters economic activity in the community and state. Its mission is to provide a fall celebration for the citizens of the state of West Virginia, their guests and visitors during this time of great natural beauty.
Full schedule of events HERE
2022 WV Trails Conference
October 28th- Sessions at Glade Springs Resort, Beckley WV
October 29th- Half-day Field Trips throughout the New River Gorge
Deadline to register: 10/14/2022**
Registration is NOW OPEN!
The cost of the Conference is $100 and includes:
- 1 day of presentations and networking sessions and 1 day of local field trip.
- A light breakfast, snacks, lunch and 1 drink ticket for Happy Hour on Friday. A boxed lunch for field trips is also included.
- Each conference attendee will receive a Welcome tote bag with conference information and a Klean Kanteen pint.
Want to be a voice in the WV State Trail Plan, want to learn more about trail planning, funding, advocacy, strategy and more? Join the conference!
Conference Scholarships are available. For more information, please contact Lisa@wvtrail.org
The conference is focused on advancing trails through partnership to address statewide challenges for maintenance, funding, planning, and building. The conference is hosted by the new WV TRAIL organization, a collective a multiple trail managers and advocates who have prioritized developing a statewide trails vision, a legislative trails caucus, and build partnership between regions and user groups. In addition to learning about breaking down barriers for your trail project, leveraging trails to enhance the outdoor economy, and developing funding and advocacy for your trail, you will also make valuable connections across Federal, State, and non-profit partners.
More info HERE
The Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation Board is accepting applications for Recreation Specialist and Program Coordinator.
The Recreation Specialist is a new position. This individual will work to improve and expand youth and adult sports offerings, both traditional and non-traditional, team and individual, throughout Pocahontas County. Resumes are due by September 30.
The Program Coordinator will develop and implement a variety of classes and recreational activities for all ages around Pocahontas County, including the Community Wellness Center in Marlinton. Resumes due by October 18.
Successful applicants must pass a background check and drug test. Complete job descriptions are available at the Parks and Recreation office in the Wellness Center, by calling 304-799-7386 or emailing parksandrec@frontiernet.
FERC Monthly Virtual Open Meeting
October 20, 2022 @ 10:00 AM
Virtual Open Meeting
Commission meeting held in Commission Meeting Room (Room 2C) at FERC Headquarters, 888 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20426
A free live webcast is available for this meeting from 10:00 am - 11:00 am. All webcasts are archived for 3 months. Full info HERE
Make your time count by volunteering with your favorite non-profit to do any number of things from helping with river cleanups, to monitoring rivers and creeks, to making phone calls or licking envelopes. You make a difference.
Follow these pages
WV Rivers ~ WV Rivers is the statewide voice for water-based recreation and clean, drinkable, swim-able, and fishable rivers and streams-from the headwaters to wherever water flows in West Virginia.
Appalachian Voices ~ The Appalachian Voice has covered environmental, outdoor and cultural news in the Appalachian mountains since 1996. We provide thorough and well-researched journalistic news coverage to fit a niche not often covered by standard news media.
New River Conservancy ~ Protecting the water, woodlands and wildlife of the New River Watershed. River Clean Ups
Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance ~ Protecting the heritage, resources and economy of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region.
WV Environmental Council ~ Facilitate communication and cooperation among citizens in promoting environmental protection in West Virginia, to assist in organizing grass roots groups, to facilitate interaction among established environmental organizations, and to correspond with all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies involved in the management of West Virginia's environment.
Wild Virginia ~ Along with our partners, alliances, and citizens like you, we press on in the fight against fracked gas pipelines in our region. The Mountain Valley Pipeline poses a great risk to our forests and surrounding communities. We are also working to improve habitat connectivity for wildlife throughout Virginia and to ensure that all of our waterways are fully protected in accordance with the law.
Stop the Money Pipeline ~ If we can stop the flow of money, we can stop the flow of oil. In early 2020, thirty-two organizations came together to form the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition. We stand on the shoulders of years of movement work pressuring financial institutions to act on climate.
If you appreciate the work we are doing, please consider a donation today.