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WV agency OKs layoffs of 37 state foresters

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst  Foresters listen as the West Virginia Personnel Board votes during a meeting Tuesday to allow 37 of them to be laid off.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst
Foresters listen as the West Virginia Personnel Board votes during a meeting Tuesday to allow 37 of them to be laid off.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thirty-seven West Virginia foresters will lose their jobs.

The state Division of Forestry employees fight forest fires and police the timber industry. In recent days, they’ve picked up chainsaws, waded through swollen streams and hauled supplies to victims of the flash floods that have devastated West Virginia.

The foresters will be unemployed effective July 15. Politicians have pointed fingers at who’s to blame for the layoffs.

“This is a political battle in an election year where 37 people got caught in the crossfire,” said Tim Casto, a forester on the layoff list.

State Personnel Board members voted 4-1 to approve the layoffs during a meeting Tuesday…

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