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Layoffs of 37 WV foresters on hold for now

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst  About 70 state foresters attended the meeting.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst
About 70 state foresters attended the meeting.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thirty-seven West Virginia foresters will keep their jobs, for the time being.

State Personnel Board members voted unanimously Thursday to postpone a plan to lay off the workers from the Division of Forestry. The vote followed passionate pleas from the foresters who fight fires, manage timber and inspect logging operations.

“It’s wrong what they’re trying to do to us. It’s just wrong,” said Matt Cook, a 16-year Forestry division employee. “It’s a kick in the gut.”

The foresters are set to lose their jobs on June 30, after state lawmakers rejected a proposal to restore $1.7 million to the agency earlier this year. The Legislature approved a proposed state budget Tuesday. Foresters received layoff notices the following day…

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