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WV DNR director McDaniel outlines rationale for timbering on state parks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s top natural resources official thinks his brainchild has gotten a bum rap.

Steve McDaniel, director of the state Division of Natural Resources, said the idea to allow timber-cutting on selected state parks was his, and it hasn’t yet gotten a fair hearing.

“There are a lot of misconceptions out there,” he said. “People think [the bill currently being considered by the Legislature] would allow timbering in all of our parks, that it would allow clear-cutting, and that it would be poorly managed. None of that is true.”

According to McDaniel, timber would be cut on only six parks — Watoga in Pocahontas County, Cacapon in Morgan County, Cedar Creek in Gilmer County, Holly River in Webster County, Lost River in Hardy County and Twin Falls in Wyoming County. Loggers, he said, would take only mature trees at least 16 inches in diameter. Cutting would be restricted to just four trees per acre in aggregate on each designated tract, and no more than half the merchantable timber could be taken in any given acre.

Some of those safeguards weren’t in the legislation as it was introduced. McDaniel said a new bill has been drafted to take the original bill’s place.

“I think the replacement bill will spell things out more clearly,” he added. …


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Reach John McCoy at [email protected], 304-348-1231, or follow @GazMailOutdoors on Twitter.

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