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Consequence of the Shutdown: Poop Problems

The Free Press WV

When the government shut down on Dec. 22, Yosemite National Park remained open but its bathrooms did not. Tourists haven’t stopped relieving themselves, apparently alongside the road, reports the Los Angeles Times. Now, two campgrounds, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and Hetch Hetchy have been shut down over health concerns stemming from the human urine and feces that’s been deposited along Wawona Road in the park’s south.

“Some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors,“ says a National Parks Service rep. Tourists are being asked to use restrooms outside the park before they arrive, and KFSN reports travelers who haven’t already locked in reservations are being advised to plan a single-day trip. A separate LAT article looks at the situation at Joshua Tree National Park, where the waterless toilets aren’t being maintained, leaving some volunteers to try to stock them with toilet paper. One such volunteer doled out 500 rolls in roughly five days.

Land in 7 WV counties acquired for wildlife management efforts

The Free Press WV

A nonprofit has bought nearly 19,000 acres of forest land in seven West Virginia counties aimed at increasing public access for hunting and wildlife-associated recreation.

The Arlington, Virginia-based Conservation Fund announced the land purchase Thursday.

A statement by the organization says the land was bought at the request of the state Division of Natural Resources and will eventually be transferred to the state as funding becomes available. The plan is to create five new wildlife management areas and expand four others along with North Bend State Park.

The land is in Calhoun, Doddridge, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Wirt and Wood counties. The land features habitat for a variety of endangered and threatened bird, bat and mussel species.

The DNR also recently acquired 12,440 acres in four counties for preservation efforts.

Dolly Sods roads to close January 01

The Free Press WV

he Monongahela National Forest will close off access to the Dolly Sods area starting January 1st. Forest Roads 19 and 75, which lead to the area, will have gates closed and locked.

The closing to vehicle traffic is normal procedure for the area during the winter months.

“These road closures are put in place for visitor safety,” said Troy Waskey Cheat-Potomac District Ranger. “Forest visitors and emergency responders are put at unnecessary risk without the road closures.”

The gates will be reopened in mid April depending on snow conditions.

For more information, contact the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District at 304.257.4488.

Canaan Valley Resort opening tubing and skating park for Thanksgiving weekend

The Free Press WV

Canaan Valley Resort State Park is starting the winter season early this year by opening its tubing and ice skating areas during the Thanksgiving weekend on November 22-25.

“We’re excited to be opening our snow park for a weekend of Thanksgiving family fun,” said Steve Drumheller, general manager at Canaan Valley Resort. “After a day of tubing and skating, we invite our guests to spend the night at our beautiful lodge. It’s a great place to relax for a few days during the holiday break, enjoy a delicious meal and reconnect with loved ones.”

The resort’s 1,200 feet long tube run is the longest in the Mid-Atlantic and features a “magic carpet” lift that zips riders back to the top of the hill. The tubing park will be open 4:30-6:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, November 22; 2-4 p.m., 4:30-6:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Friday, November23, and Saturday, November 24; and 8-10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 25. The outdoor covered skating rink will be open each day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. After the last session on November 25, the tubing and skating park will be open on weekends until the opening of Canaan Valley Resort’s ski areas in mid-December.

Canaan Valley’s high elevation in the Allegheny Mountain makes a perfect climate for snow sports. The resort, which has 160 rooms and 23 cabins, is a world-class, four-season vacation destination and offers many seasonal and family-friendly activities and dining options. To learn more about lodging specials and deals and to make a reservation, visit www.canaanresort.com or call 304.866.4121.

Canaan Valley Resort State Park visitors also are invited to send digital photos of their winter festivities to ‘CommerceSocialMedia@wv.gov’.

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