Scenic Streams Preservation
The best. Certain
scenic streams in West Virginia are protected by the Natural
Streams Preservation Act [W. Va. Code ch. 22, art. 13].
"Protected streams" are Greenbrier River (Knapps
Creek to New River),
Anthony Creek (from its headwaters to Greenbrier River),
Cranberry River (from its headwaters to Gauley River), Birch
River (from Cora Brown bridge in Nicholas County to Elk
River), and New River (from Gauley River to Greenbrier River).
No protected stream may
be modified without obtaining a permit from the
DEP Director after the holding of a public hearing. Modifications
may not "affect the free-flowing characteristics of
a substantial part of a protected stream...." The Director's
order regarding the permit or compliance with the terms
and conditions of the permit is appealable to the Environmental
Quality Board. Further enforcement procedures and civil
and criminal penalties are contained in the act.
Federal protection of scenic streams and rivers has
taken several forms, the principal statute being the Wild
and Scenic Rivers Act [U.S. Code secs. 1271 - 1287].
By 1998, 154 rivers covering 10,760 miles had become national
scenic rivers. On such a river dams are forbidden,
inappropriate streamside development can be limited, and
growth is better managed.
Only one river has that designation
in West Virginia: part of the Bluestone River.
Compare, for example, the many national scenic rivers
in Oregon. The section of the 77-mile-long Bluestone
River that is protected flows through the Bluestone Gorge
between Pipestem State Park and Bluestone State Park, a
beautiful area, indeed. To read more about Bluestone country
click on http://gorp.com/...
Nearby is a national
recreation area: the Gauley River National
Recreation Area. Like the Bluestone, the 25 miles of
the Gauley River and 6 miles of the Meadow River pass through
deep gorges and the Gauley River is noted for its wild whitewater
rides. Read and see more about the Gauley River at
There are two national wildlife
refuges in West Virginia, both reliant upon water
to support natural habitat possessing abundant varieties
of birds, fish, and other wildlife. Established in
1990 the Ohio River National Wildlife Refuge occupies
a portion of 38 islands located along 362 miles of river.
For more information you can access http://gorp.com/...
In 1994 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased land
in the Canaan Valley to establish the Canaan Valley
National Wildlife Refuge. You can learn more
about this special place at http://www.fws.gov/...
and at http://gorp.com/...
Last updated on Tuesday, July 25, 2000