Democratic News

Manchin applauds the Forest Service’s selection of this important recreation project

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that a project to add a 367-acre parcel of land to the Monongahela National Forest, has been deemed by the Administration as one of the most important projects in the country. The project, referred to as “Hooke Brothers”, was ranked by the U.S. Forest Service as the 14th highest priority land acquisition project in the country among the hundreds that were considered. This project is located near the Gaudineer Scenic Area in Pocahontas County.

“The Monongahela National Forest is a West Virginia treasure and a national treasure. The Land and Water Conservation Fund made many of our wild and wonderful corners of West Virginia possible and this is no exception. This expansion and investment in the Monongahela will ensure generations to come will continue to explore and enjoy our national forest,” Senator Manchin said.

When Congress allocates funding for Fiscal Year 2020 for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, this will likely be among the projects funded. The authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund expired last fall, but Senator Manchin led a bi-partisan effort this spring, which resulted in the program being permanently reauthorized. West Virginia will now directly benefit from the program’s reauthorization, with this project being slated for funding next year.

This parcel of land is an inholding of the Monongahela National Forest and is owned by a local timber company. When this land moves into Federal ownership, it will expand the opportunities for connecting trails systems in the area, e.g., the trail system that currently runs along the beautiful Shaver’s Fork River. Connecting these trail systems will make it easier for everyone from hikers to hunters to access their public lands.

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