PETERSBURG, W.Va. — Data from a recently published report on the Monongahela National Forest will be discussed at three community listening sessions in Mon Forest Towns beginning Tuesday.
West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WV Rivers) will present the report, “Our Wild and Wonderful Mon.” The report details the findings of 12 listening sessions held in 2021 with recreational users ranging from hikers and bikers to paddlers and anglers. Participants in the listening sessions identified areas of concern and visions for an improved recreational experience in the Mon Forest.
The first session begins at 5 p.m. in Petersburg at Welton Park (Pavilion 5), at 1979 Peterburg Gap Highway.
“We will be presenting with our consultant the findings of the report and then an opportunity for citizens of the three towns to tell us what is important to them in the Mon Forest and how they want to see it preserved,” Mike Jones, Public Lands Campaign Coordinator for WV Rivers told MetroNews.
According to Jones, the participants in the report expressed the same concerns as the mission points of WV Rivers.
The report identifies a need for trail maintenance and development, addressing over-visitation threats to wilderness, marketing less visited areas, and assuring access for all communities regardless of economic or another status.
“The majority of participants in the report mentioned the importance of protecting the pristine, clear headwaters flowing from the Mon Forest. “As the report states, the Mon is truly the ‘crown jewel’ of West Virginia’s public lands,” said WV Rivers executive director Angie Rosser in a release.
“The concern for Mon Forest headwater protections aligns with the mission of WV Rivers to ‘conserve and restore West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams.’”
The schedule of meetings following Tuesday is:
October 12, 2022 – Canaan Valley, Outdoor Pavilion, Canaan Valley Resort, 230 Main Lodge Road, Davis, WV 26260
October 26, 2022 – Marlinton, Discovery Junction, 709 2nd Avenue, Marlinton, WV 24954
All meetings will start at 5:00 pm for people to arrive and enjoy light refreshments.
The presentation and community conversations will begin at 5:30 pm.