It was good to hear Steven McDaniel, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, tell a Senate committee recently that a bill to allow logging in state parks was “not about the money.”
That makes it easier to ask this question: Why do it then?
McDaniel’s comment, as reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, came during a session of the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee. He went on to say “It’s never been about the money.”
However, that’s how Senate Bill 270 was touted by Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and State Forester Barry Cook shortly after the measure was introduced last month at the behest of Gov. Jim Justice. Both talked about how logging and selling off the timber would provide money to help the state catch up on badly needed park maintenance. Few have questioned whether parks could use an infusion of more money to maintain them, but the proposal to end an 87-year-old ban on timbering in state parks has elicited plenty of criticism.
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