CHARLESTON– Gov. Jim Justice’s administration has proposed opening West Virginia’s state parks to logging.
Legislation introduced by the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders at Justice’s request would authorize the Division of Natural Resources to implement “a sound silvicultural management plan.”
It calls for limits not exceeding “the average of four trees per acre per tract” and not to exceed half the sellable timber on an acre.
Trees would have to be at least 16 inches in diameter at chest height. Proceeds would help maintain state parks.
Conservation groups said lifting the 80-year ban on commercial logging of parklands is the wrong way to help them.
Jim Waggy of the Kanawha Forest Coalition said visitors come to West Virginia for the beauty of its forests, not to hear chain saws.