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“Friends of Blackwater works to protect the landscapes, natural and human communities, and heritage of the Blackwater Watershed and Canyon and to promote its sustainable economic development through public outreach, advocacy and restoration."


Latest FOB Newsletter Now Available Online

Train Derailment May Cause Damage to Kanawha River and Mussel Population

On February 16, 2015 a train, with over 100 tankers carrying Bakken crude, derailed at Armstrong Creek near the Kanawha River. While early reports say that no crude made it into the river or Armstrong Creek, there has yet to be a determination of the actual damage from the derailment and the nineteen tankers that burned for nearly 4 days. You can read more about this derailment and the potential damage to mussel populations here.

"On the Chopping Block"

"On the Chopping Block" -A Report from the June 2014 Blackwater Falls Conference was released at a 3:00 PM press conference on Tuesday, January 13, in the West Virginia State Capitol in the Governor's Conference Room.  The report was also presented to the State Board of Education at its January 14 meeting.

See a copy of the Report here

You can request a hard copy of the report by emailing or by calling 304-345-7663 x2.

FOB Presents: The Beautiful Blackwater Watershed - State of the River Report I

State of the River

FOB recently completed the First Edition of the State of the Blackwater Watershed. This document was funded through a grant from the WVDEP, Nonpoint Source Program's 319 AGO Fund.

Please click here to view the document online.

To request your FREE copy, please click here.





In the fall of 2013 Fish and Wildlife recognized the dramatic and rapid decline of northern long-eared bats (NLEB) due to the spread of the deadly white nose syndrome fungus. Forest clearing and mortality at wind turbines are other threats. The US Fish and Wildlife Service originally recommended that these bats be protected as endangered in 2013. But heavy opposition from industry has delayed protection.

We are in the third comment period for the proposal to get federal protection for this tiny bat plunging toward extinction. It ends on March 17th. The Fish and Wildlife has NOW suggested that the bat be listed in the less protective “threatened” category under the Endangered Species Act with exemptions for any timber management activities under section 4(d) of the ESA.

Click here for more information.


Spruce Knob from Mt. Porte Crayon by Kent MasonThe Big Mountain proposal, at the southern end of the Spruce Knob Recreation Area, includes spraying 1,205 acres with herbicides, burning 3,321 acres, building 25 miles of new logging roads, and timbering 1,174 acres.  The streams here are the headwaters of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac and contain native brook trout.   The project is in the viewshed of Spruce Knob the highest mountain peak in West Virginia.

"Ginny" the West Virginia northern flying squirrel has been documented in the proposal area.  "Ginny" does not respond well to herbicides, smoke from fires, or tree cutting. In addition, logging would disturb the truffles on the forest floor that make up a large part off Ginny’s diet -- truffles that take 30 years to reach maturity!  

Click here for more information.


"Climate Change, China and the West Virginia Connection"

Almost 100 people braved a snowy night to attend our Feb. 12 program in Morgantown, WV.  They heard the World Resource Institute's Sarah Forbes, WVU Professor Jerry Fletcher, Ben Gilmer from Downstream Strategies, and Sam Petsonk from Mountain State Justice talk about how countries like China and the U.S. are cooperating to reduce carbon pollution. 

You can see an online video of the event here.  You can see photos of the event here.  A copy of the event program is here. 

There is a big audience for scientific information about climate change, and we are excited to be reaching that audience with events like this one!  Thanks to Jamie Van Nostrand and the WVU Law School Center on Energy and Sustainability for partnering with us – and especially for arranging for such tasty post-event refreshments!