(12/22/2018)
By Bob Weaver

The Conservation Fund has just purchased 18,778 acres of forestland—an important step toward significantly increasing public access for hunting and wildlife-associated recreation in northwest WV, while benefiting threatened and endangered species.

The Fund purchased 1,294 acres in northwestern Calhoun in the Kadies Run-Monroe Ridge area of the county, currently owned by the Forrestland Group.

The lands will eventually be transferred to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources as funding becomes available, enabling the future creation of five new WMAs and the expansion of four existing WMAs and the North Bend State Park.

The Conservation Fund announced its purchase of 18,778 acres of forestland—an important step toward significantly increasing public access for hunting and wildlife-associated recreation in northwestern West Virginia, while benefiting threatened and endangered species.

Acquired by the Fund at the request of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), the lands will eventually be transferred to the state as funding becomes available, enabling the future creation of five new West Virginia Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and the expansion of four existing WMAs and the North Bend State Park.

"We're proud to partner with the WVDNR in this ongoing effort to conserve important wildlife habitat and permanently protect these lands as new and expanded WMAs and a State Park addition, which will deliver both economic and environmental benefits for local communities in an area of the state lacking in public lands," said Joe Hankins, Vice President for The Conservation Fund.

The Conservation Fund purchased the lands in Wirt, Wood, Jackson, Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie and Doddridge Counties through its Working Forest Fund® program from The Forestland Group. Under The Conservation Fund's temporary ownership, the property will be sustainably managed as working forestland, consistent with the WVDNR's wildlife habitat management needs.

The nonprofit organization expects to convey the land to the WVDNR in phases, starting in the winter of 2019, with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration program and other sources. Public hunting access will be permitted once the lands are transferred to the State.


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