House Approves Wild Mon Act


(Washington) — West Virginia’s three members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the Wild Monongahela Act.  The legislation expanding wilderness areas in West Virginia won overwhelming approval in the House in an Earth Day vote.

The legislation, authored by West Virginia Third District Congressman Nick Rahall, expands three existing wilderness areas in West Virginia.  Under the approved bill Otter Creek, Cranberry, and Dolly Sods would all expand.  The bill includes designation of three more sections of the Monongahela National Forest under Wilderness protection.   The three new areas, Spice Run, Big Draft, and Roaring Plains West would be established.

A fourth proposed area, Cheat Mountain, was not included in the final version of the bill although it was part of Rahall’s original proposal.  

The Wilderness designation is the highest level of protection for a forest area.   Restrictions include a ban on any wheeled vehicle, including a bicycle, foot traffic by groups of fewer than ten people, and no active forest or wildlife management or mineral extraction.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate where both U.S. Senators Byrd and Rockefeller have shown strong support for the legislation.  


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