Our water, our lives, our communities…help us meet the challenges

 

Due to weather concerns the Greenbrier River Watershed Celebration has been postponed. 
Please mark your calendars for September 29 and join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: July 1, 2018  

The damaged areas on the lower Greenbrier River Trail have been repaired and the trail is OPEN.

Trail crews will continue to improve the trail surface in the coming weeks. A big thank you goes out to the Greenbrier River Trail Association, Lewisburg Rotary, city of Lewisburg, and many other volunteers.

Greenbrier River Trail Partial Closure
May 22, 2018

Flash flooding on May 22nd has caused major damages to the southern portion of the Greenbrier River Trail. The damage is isolated to a seven mile stretch of trail.

The trail will be officially * closed from mp 7.5 to mp 14 until further notice. * Distance riders may start or end at Anthony and travel north to Cass without any issues.

The trail is still open from Caldwell to mp 7.5 for local “up and back use” 

Thanks to Friends of the Greenbrier River for info and photos.

 

 

 


The 33rd Great Greenbrier River Race will be on April 28, 2019.

The 33rd annual Great Greenbrier River Race is held the last Saturday in April each year in Marlinton, WV. With great prizes, live music and good food,the event attracts a loyal following of racers and fans.

Originally a team event with four members, canoeists, bicyclist and runner, the race has now attracted many people who do it solo. But there is still room for the whole family or the family dog on a team! Kayaks and canoes are both encouraged and the many categories encourage prizes for many racers.

Stay tuned for updates.


Tracking Water Policy

Over the past week, the teacher work stoppage has consumed the attention of the legislature while cross-over day came and went. Cross-over day is the deadline for a bill to pass out of its originating legislative chamber and head to the opposite chamber. That means the bills we were tracking that never made it out of committee will not be considered for passage by the full legislature this year – they are called “dead”. Even in the midst of a historic labor strike, WV Rivers is at the Capitol ensuring that water policy remains a priority!
 
SB270/HB4182: Died in committee. The state parks logging bill.
SB410Died in committee. SB410 would have establish a new position, the Industry Advocate, within the WV Department of Environmental Protection.
HB2909Died in committee. HB2909 would have abolish the office of the environmental advocate within WVDEP.
SB438: This bill would authorize the issuance of bonds to fund improvements at state parks. It has passed the Senate, and is now in the House Finance Committee.
SB626: Amendments were made to the bill restoring public notifications for surface mine permit applications. The bill has passed the Senate, was amended by the House Energy and is now in the House Judiciary Committee.
SB290: This bill makes changes to water quality standards and pollution limits. The original bill was replaced by a substitute and has passed the Senate and is now in the House Judiciary Committee. See our analysis on SB290 in a previous edition of Policy News here.
HB4154: The “2018 Regulatory Reform Act” expedites the approval of certain industrial projects in a way that leaves the public out of the process. It passed out of the House and has been referred to the Senate Government Organization Committee.

WV Rivers Coalition


March 6, 2018    E -day! at the Capitol – Charleston, WV

 

 

 


Double Crossed Gatherings in Pocahontas & Summers Counties

On Saturday, September 16th, residents from all counties of the Greenbrier River Watershed and beyond met to express their concerns about the two 42-inch pipelines proposed by shale gas developers for the Greenbrier River and tributaries. Two events, called “Double-Crossed,” were held. Gathering at Clover Lick, in Pocahontas County and at Pence Springs, in Summers County at the places proposed for pipeline crossings of the main stem of the river, participants came face to face with what may have only been lines on a map before.

Double Crossed gathering in Clover Lick in Pocahontas County, WV.

Most of the assembled citizens had commented to federal and state regulators expressing their concern for lost property rights, questioning the need for two big pipelines (and many more}, impacts to fisheries, unstable soils, impacts on fragile karst terrain, loss of water supplies and more, but felt they had not been heard.

Indeed, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection had just rescinded their approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline the week before, due to concerns about the inadequacy of the company’s environmental review. This was done due to citizens suing in federal court. A group of North Carolina residents also won a similar court case against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, challenging North Carolina’s permitting. However, in a recent ruling FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Agency, the quasi-federal agency which approves pipelines, ruled that New York state’s regulators could not challenge its approval of a pipeline there. 

Double Crossed gathering in Pence Springs in Summers County, WV

So, while participants were encouraged by legal appeals, their fear and concerns about the future of their property and the rivers and streams and the landscape they love were not allayed. Ashby Berkeley, whose family’s riverside property in Pence Springs will be crossed by the MVP if it is built, said. “It is not just because they want to come through my family property, I would oppose it for many reasons anyway. It is not the right solution for our country’s energy needs to keep relying on fossil fuels, and the impacts are too great on communities. Plus, where are these gas supplies going? Lots of this gas will be exported overseas, and we here will not see anything but negative impacts. Where is the upside for us?”

Clover Lick resident Maryann Tomasik showed the assembled group the exact location of the spillway for the proposed crossing along the Greenbrier River Trail of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Local resident Nikki Alikakos, who returned to her family home two years ago with her husband and young children expressed dismay that they had thought they would be returning to the bucolic landscapes and country life she missed in larger cities. She decried the intrusion of two large projects on one small river in Appalachia as she and her family walked up the trail to see the proposed crossing.  ”It is so disheartening to come home to being part of an energy sacrifice zone,” she lamented.

Organizers of the event, The Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA) and West Virginia Rivers Coalition expressed the hope that the event would help raise peoples’ awareness of the impacts of the proposed pipelines on what are considered relatively unspoiled areas of the state. Leslee McCarty, board member of the GRWA said, “We thought the name double -crossed conveyed not only the fact that the river will be crossed twice if the companies get their way, but also of the sense of betrayal felt by many community members”

 

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Greenbrier Watershed Celebration
is grateful to our sponsors:

Autumn Environmental

Bank of Monroe
Ezebreak
Irish Pub
Plants Etc.
Richard Grist
S.J. Neathawk Lumber
Wolf Creek Gallery

City National Bank

And our partners:

Friends of the Lower Greenbrier

WV Cave Conservancy

Lost World Caverns

 

 

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The Greenbrier River Trail is Open
July 18, 2017

Reports are that the repairs to the lower portion of the trail have allowed the trail to reopen from North Caldwell to Cass. Portions of the damaged lower section still need some TLC, but reports are that it is definitely bikeable! Everyone should be aware that there may be Preview Changessome hazards.  We are so happy the trail is “whole” again!  Thank you to everyone who helped make this a reality!  Stay tuned for more updates. 

See video of restored Greenbrier River Trail HERE

 


Elizabeth Johnson lets her dogs in the river for a swim while walking them on the Greenbrier River Trail near Caldwell. (Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald)
Jenny Harnish/ The Register-Herald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Administration Moves to Undo Clean Water Protections
Angie Rosser
, West Virginia Rivers Coalition

WV Dolly Sods Wilderness. Photo Kent Mason

Washington DC – Today the Trump Administration put the sources of drinking water for more than half of West Virginians at greater risk, along with the streams and wetlands that filter pollution and provide habitat for wildlife, by starting the process to repeal the Clean Water Rule.

The rule was in place to clarify protections for West Virginia’s vulnerable headwater streams under the Clean Water Act. Over half (54%) of West Virginians get their drinking water from sources that rely on small streams that were protected under this rule.

“This is a troubling day for water drinkers, river users, and wildlife in West Virginia,” said West Virginia Rivers Coalition Executive Director Angie Rosser. “Our state’s headwater streams supply the drinking water sources for millions of people; this rule was important for the health of our communities and everyone downstream.”

Rosser said that for more than a decade, many of our streams have been stuck in a legal limbo caused by two divided Supreme Court decisions, actions of the previous administration and inaction by Congress. The rule clarified that 8,390 miles of streams that feed into West Virginia’s drinking water sources were protected. Now those streams are put back at risk.

The Clean Water Act rule repeal announced today by the Trump Administration had been the subject of more than a million public comments, with 87 percent of those responding—including over 2,000 West Virginians, supporting the rule. Learn more.

 

Clean up begins on Greenbrier River waterways
Austin Davis

GREENBRIER COUNTY (WVVA) –

When looking at the rivers and creeks in Greenbrier County it’s easy to spot trash and other debris left behind by last summer’s floods. However, crews are working to clean it up to help prevent future flooding. 

Trash piles filled with tires and debris, all from the Rupert/Rainelle area. The Human Resources Development Foundation is taking care of the fallen trees that play a big role in flooding issues.

“We had to cut the trees off in order for the water to flow the way it’s supposed to because with the trees blocking, it’s causing the water to build up which is going to cause a flood again,” said Audie Sloan, Crew Leader for HRDF Greenbrier County.  See video HERE

 

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Make it Shine Volunteers Rock!

A chilly start, but the crew from the Greenbrier River Watershed Association was ready for the challenge! Anthony Boat Launch and

Campground Area is ready for the summer. Thanks to all that participated in this years Make it Shine event!

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The Great Greenbrier River Race is in the books!
Congratulations to everyone!

For information about the race email info@greenbrierrivertrail.com

For more information about the Greenbrier River Race please email info@greenbrierrivertrail.com

 

2017 was the 31st annual Great Greenbrier River Race. The race is held the last Saturday in April each year. With great prizes, live music and good food,the event attracts a loyal following of racers and fans.

Originally a team event with four members, canoeists, bicyclist and runner, the race has now attracted many people who do it solo. But there is still room for the whole family or the family dog on a team! Kayaks and canoes are both encouraged and the many categories encourage prizes for many racers.

 

CLICK HERE FOR RACE RESULTS

 

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WATERSHED GROUP VIDEO’S

 

Check out the Watershed Group Videos, including ours, HERE

 

Currents is a celebration of the dozens of watershed groups that help protect, preserve and restore West Virginia’s waterways, told in their own words. It premiered at the WV Rivers Film Festival in Morgantown on October 22, 2015. Currents is a production of the WVDEP, and was produced and directed by Michael Huff.


 

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For Legislative Updates, please check the following:

West Virginia Environmental Council;

West Virginia Citizens Action Group;

West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization

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West Virginia Natural Streams Preservation Act
If you are interested in understanding the additional protections of the Greenbrier and New Rivers below Knapps Creek, take a look at the West Virginia  Natural Streams Preservation Act.
 

 

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See our  Current Newsletter  Get Involved! and join our email list.

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Greenbrier River in Pocahontas County. Photo credit to Kevin Jack Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Problem(s) with Pipelines: An Anthology

Belle Fourche Pipeline Leak, Dec. 10, 2016. Image Credit – Jennifer Skjod, N. Dakota Dept. of Health

Belle Fourche Pipeline Leak, Dec. 10, 2016. Image Credit – Jennifer Skjod, N. Dakota Dept. of Health

On Sunday, Dec. 4 the Army Corps of Engineers issued a decision which will again delay construction of  the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The ruling was cheered by water protectors entrenched in the path of the pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. These representatives of indigenous nations, environmental activists, veterans, and many other groups have been resisting pressure from private security and law enforcement officers… Continue

 
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Final EPA Report: Fracking Threatens Drinking Water
December 13, 2016

biological_drinking_water_treatment_running_faucetAfter years of researching the environmental effects of horizontal gas drilling, including the controversial practice called “fracking”, the Environmental Protection Agency released a final report that highlights threats, but is still largely inconclusive.

Drilling practices that capture gas trapped in shale rock deep underground can contaminate drinking water – but federal regulators aren’t sure how risky it is. That’s the final takeaway from a $30 million report that took six years to finish. Continue

 



WV Supreme Court: No Pipeline Surveys for Private Gain

West Virginia property owners won an important case at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Tuesday when that Court sided with Appalachian Mountain Advocates attorneys, ruling that the Mountain Valley Pipeline cannot survey for its proposed natural gas pipeline without landowner permission. The Court held that such a survey would constitute an illegal “private taking for private use,” because the proposed pipeline would not benefit West Virginians. Full story click here


The Greenbrier River Watershed Association, founded in 1990, is one of the oldest watershed associations in the state. With thactis website, we hope to give the Greenbrier River Watershed residents and visitors the tools they need to take responsible care of the land that is home to the waters.  Most importantly we hope that the people of these beautiful mountains get outdoors and enjoy wild and wonderful West Virginia. Come out and join us!

GRWA-Report-2015
NEWS: Greenbrier River Watershed Association joins with Pipeline Update to provide the most up to date meeting information and news on proposed pipelines in our watershed. If you want the most recent news and information, go to http://pipelineupdate.org/ and see what is happening lots of folks are coming out to meetings all over West Virginia and Virginia!

HIGH QUALITY PIPELINE MAPS:

Upshur County Map

Upshur County Map

More maps at Mountain Valley Pipeline
Download these from Dropbox:
Pocahontas County WV Map 9mb
Randolph County WV Map 14 mb
Upshur County WV Map 14 mb
Part 1 Harrison County WV Map 5mb

Fact Sheet
Action Steps

The Greenbrier River

From the wilds of Blister Swamp high in the Allegheny Mountains until it flows into the New River Gorge National River near Hinton, the Greenbrier River has carved its way almost two hundred miles through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled terrain on the East Coast.  It is the longest free flowing river in the East, and boasts two of our newest wilderness areas, Spice Run and Big Draft.img_3496

One of the nation’s oldest rail to trail conversions, the scenic Greenbrier River Trail parallels the river for almost eighty miles in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties, affording access to the river and some of the surrounding state parks and forest and the Monongahela National Forest.

The river and its tributaries provide drinking water for communities, water for agriculture and recreation, and home for abundant wildlife, including bald eagles, lynx, black bear, river otters and myriad of birds and mammals.

 

 

 

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