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State-Junior-Conservation-Camp-Scholarships-Still-Available

The Free Press WV

Scholarships are still available for West Virginia Junior Conservation Camp, where kids ages 11-14 can learn about environmental science from the state’s most knowledgeable forestry, wildlife and preservation experts. Scholarships cover the full cost of camp, which is $172, and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Scheduled June 20-24 at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, the overnight camp offers classes in wildlife, archery, recycling, fishing, canoeing, and more, inspiring over 200 campers to protect the state’s natural resources. The camp is sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Each day, campers have the opportunity to learn about environmental preservation in engaging new ways, outside of a classroom setting. Past presentations have explained energy efficiency and air quality, demonstrated the work of fire dogs in forestry, and displayed the operation of mechanical deer and turkey used to protect out-of-season animals.

Campers also swim, play volleyball, run relay races, and engage in many other activities with their peers. After the day’s festivities, campers gather around a campfire, creating fellowship with one another. The camp concludes with an assembly on Friday morning.

Many dedicated experts from the DEP, Division of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, and WVU Extension Service serve as camp counselors, presenters, and leaders. For more information about Junior Conservation Camp or to inquire about scholarship availability, contact camp Director Diana Haid at 304.926.0499x1114, or . The deadline to register for camp is May 02.
The DEP also would like to remind youth ages 14-18 that the 75th annual West Virginia State Conservation Camp at Camp Caesar in Webster County is scheduled for June 13-18. That camp is organized by the WVU Extension Service, West Virginia Conservation Agency and several more state and federal agencies.

For more information about that camp, go to www.wvconservationcamp.com or call Allen Miller at 304.293.9425.

Key Things To Know About Federal Land Ownership In The West

An armed group occupying the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon wants the federal government to relinquish the land to local officials so it becomes more accessible for ranching, mining and other uses.

Less visible efforts to wrest control of federal lands date back more than a century in the West, where the U.S. government manages most of the land in some states.

The Free Press WV


HOW MUCH LAND DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWN?

It controls about a million square miles, mostly in the West, according to the Congressional Research Service. It owns 81 percent of Nevada, 66 percent of Utah, 62 percent of both Idaho and Alaska, and 53 percent of Oregon.

Most of the land is managed by U.S. agencies including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

The federal government also owns significant portions of California and Wyoming, at 48 percent each; Arizona, at 42 percent; Colorado, at 36 percent; New Mexico, at 35 percent; Montana, at 29 percent; and Washington state, at 28 percent.


HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT ACQUIRE SO MUCH LAND?

As the country expanded West, the federal government sought to protect some areas, such as Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and took control in the 1900s of unclaimed areas that were generally too harsh and difficult for homesteaders to make a living.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management administers much of the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin, which is habitat for the imperiled sage grouse but unsuitable for farming.


IS THE LAND-CONTROL CONFLICT NEW?

No. The debate over management of federal land has spanned decades. Some state officials and others contend that state control would mean less regulation and greater freedom for ranchers, miners, recreationists and others, boosting state income.

Critics of that view say the land would be too expensive for states to maintain and would be sold off to private interests, cutting off access to the public.

Congress approved a law in 1976 saying that remaining public land would stay under federal control.


WHAT EFFORTS ARE STATES MAKING TO CONTROL FEDERAL LAND?

State lawmakers, notably in Utah and Idaho, have sought a legal way to take control of federal land. However, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has said the state’s constitution gave up claims to the land when Idaho joined the union.

Congress has the authority to turn over federal land to the states, but efforts to pass such a law have failed so far.


WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE LAND IN OREGON?

President Theodore Roosevelt created the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1908. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 300-square-mile refuge is partly a marshland that’s a key rest area in the Oregon high desert for migrating birds.

The number of migrating shorebirds qualifies the refuge as a Regional Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve, the wildlife service says. It also supports more than 20 percent of the state’s breeding population of greater sandhill cranes, as well as many other species.

Birding is a popular pastime at the refuge, which also draws anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Passage of Sportsmen’s Act OF 2015

Legislation will increase public lands access for sportsmen and promote West Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, applauded the bipartisan passage of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. The legislation will enhance hunting, fishing and recreational shooting opportunities by increasing access to federal lands. It also includes the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the ENR Committee by a voice vote.

“As a lifelong, avid sportsman, I know firsthand that our hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage is so important to who we are as West Virginians and as Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along, from one generation to another, a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer. I believe that we should protect these traditions that help define who we are. This bipartisan bill will boost West Virginia’s economy while expanding hunting and fishing rights and allowing people a greater ability to enjoy the outdoors.”


Senator Manchin’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

As an avid sportsman, I believe that hunting and fishing are an integral part of the American culture and a powerful force of good protecting and preserving the natural world around us.

In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along – from one generation to another – a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer.

One of my top priorities is to make sure that the people I represent can carry on that tradition by ensuring they have access to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on our nation’s public lands.

In my home state, we have more than 1.6 million acres of public land open to hunting with 28 shooting ranges on these lands.

We have a year-round fishing season, with more than 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes.

But this is about more than heritage and family tradition – hunting and fishing are big business in the Mountain State.

In 2011 alone, sportsmen and women spent $870 million on hunting and fishing in West Virginia and paid $81 million in state and local taxes.

Title II of this bill establishes an important precedent that seems pretty common sense to me – Federal land should be open to hunting and fishing, within existing laws, unless there is a reason for it not to be.

Nothing in the bill opens any sensitive areas that are already closed to these activities.

It merely establishes the precedent that our public lands should be open to the public so that people can enjoy them.

I think it’s a shame that we all too often get caught up in debates between environmentalists and sportsmen – both of whom want to preserve and protect the great outdoors.

Gale Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush, once said:

“Dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat.”

I’m a firm believer that introducing someone to the great outdoors through hunting and fishing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show them why conservation matters.

I was also very pleased to see that the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was included in this bill.

In West Virginia, LWCF has helped maintain and expand access to some of our State’s natural treasures for the benefit of all.

Access projects funded by LWCF, in places like the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley, and the Gauley River, not only keep public lands public for sportsmen, but also promote West Virginia’s thriving and growing outdoor recreation economy.

A Section 6 habitat grant was the centerpiece of a project up in Cheat Canyon that leveraged state, local, and private funds to protect another incredible river that provides outdoor recreation in the northern part of the state.

A different type of grant protected key battlefield areas around Harper’s Ferry last year. 

The permanent reauthorization of the LWCF is another one of my top priorities, and I commend my colleagues for working together, across partisan lines, to include it in this bill.

For the past two Congresses, we have tried and failed to pass a Sportsmen’s package through the Senate despite strong bipartisan support.

I commend Senator Murkowski and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act this Congress, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council hosts Campfire at WV Governor’s Mansion

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council hosted the ultimate campfire at the WV Governor’s Mansion with special guest and Girl Scout Alumna, First Lady Joanne Tomblin on Tuesday evening.

The First Lady lead the fun as the girls sang songs and listened to stories of her Girl Scouting experiences growing up and how they shaped her into the strong leader she is today.

Over 44 Girl Scouts from across the state of WV were in attendance at this unforgettable event.

The Free Press WV

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About Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership organization for girls, with 2.8 million girl and adult members worldwide. Working in partnership with nearly 4,000 volunteers, Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council serves about 12,000 girls in 61 counties in West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, call 1.800.756.7616 or visit our website at www.bdgsc.org. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

THIS YEAR WILL BE THE FIRST YEAR FOR “JAMBOREE AT THE SUMMIT” FOR GIRL SCOUTS IN GRADES 4-12

CHARLESTON, WV — Girl Scouts will take over the home of the National Scout Jamboree this July.

The Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council is hosting “Jamboree at the Summit” on July 22 – 26 at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County, one of four high-adventure bases the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America manages nationwide.

The event is open to groups of Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors in grades 4-12 from West Virginia and across the U.S. Girls who are not yet Scouts can also pay a $15 fee to join the organization and attend the Jamboree.

“There are14 different high adventure activities for girls to participate in while they are there and we’re just so excited to be able to do this event at a world-class facility right here in West Virginia,” said Beth Casey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council.

The Council is made up of Scouts in 61 counties in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

The Gilmer Free Press


This year is the first year for “Jamboree at the Summit” which will include ziplining, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, skateboarding, kayaking and more. Participating Girl Scouts will earn four badges.

Of the site, “I have been so impressed every time I’ve been there, just the quality of the facilities and how beautiful it is and the support staff there have been really great also,” said Casey who participated in “Girl Scout Day” at The Summit last August.

The cost to attend this year’s “Jamboree at the Summit” is $300 per girl.

More information about the event is available by calling Suzanne Goralczyk or Kathy Storage at 304.345.7722 or by clicking H E R E.

Looking ahead, the 2017 National Scout Jamboree will be the second one held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

The Summit will host the World Scout Jamboree in 2019, the first time the event will be held in the U.S. in more than 50 years.

This year’s World Scout Jamboree is scheduled for July 28 – August 08 in Yamaguchi, Japan.

Junior Conservation Camp Scholarships Available

The Gilmer Free Press

Campers Learn Valuable Environmental Lessons, Useful Outdoor Skills

RIPLEY, WV – Hundreds of children from across West Virginia will converge at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County next month to learn how to protect our environment at the 35th annual Junior Conservation Camp.

The camp, being held June 15-19, is open to West Virginia children ages 11 to 14 and includes activities designed to teach participants about forestry, wildlife, archery, recycling, hunter safety and fishing, canoeing and other outdoor activities. The classes are outdoors, very hands-on, and engaging. They are taught by dedicated and knowledgeable instructors from agencies that include Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Natural Resources, the Division of Forestry, and the WVU Extension Service. There are multiple scholarships available to cover campers’ lodging and meals.

“Junior Conservation Camp is important for many reasons,” said Camp Director Diana Haid, who heads up the DEP’s Youth Environmental Program. “The campers learn good environmental management practices and become stewards of our natural resources. Most importantly, they’re having fun outside. Each year there are several children who’ve never been to a camp before, never fished or shot a bow and would not have been able to without the financial assistance provided by our camp sponsors. I am very proud to say that Junior Conservation Camp provides a very positive camping experience full of fun and environmental learning to about 200 West Virginia children each year.”

Several camp sponsors have requested that scholarships be made available to children from certain areas of the state. Parents with children interested in attending camp can request these scholarships if the children reside in the following counties: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Mercer, Nicholas, Raleigh, Ritchie, Summers, Tyler, Wayne, Webster and Wood. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarship requests should be emailed to Diana Haid at .

For general information about camp or to obtain an application form, go to www.dep.wv.gov and click on the “Junior Conservation Camp” link on the right side of the screen under the “Events” heading. The application deadline has been extended to May 20. The cost for children without scholarships is $172 each. To apply, mail the application and a check to DEP, Attention Diana Haid, 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

This year’s Junior Conservation Camp sponsors, to date, are: Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia; Appalachian Power; Antero Resources; the shareholders of West Virginia American Water; the Braxton, Doddridge, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Marshall, Putnam, Taylor, Upshur, Wetzel and Wood county solid waste authorities; the Region VIII Solid Waste Authority; Jackson Resources Co. of Hamlin; the Berk-Mar, Forest Ridge, Hill and Hollow, Kanawha Estates, Lubeck Acres, Quiet Dell, St. Albans, Salem and Vienna garden clubs; the GFWC woman’s clubs of Bridgeport, Capitol, Charleston, Clarksburg, Clendenin, Cross Lanes, Elizabeth, Elkins, Grafton, Huntington, Mannington, Montgomery, Ronceverte, Shady Spring and South Parkersburg; the Parkersburg and Philippi Lion’s clubs; the Newark Shining Stars 4-H Club; the Hancock County 4-H Foundation; the Capitol, Elk, Little Kanawha, Tygarts Valley, Upper Ohio and Western conservation districts; the Pink Chucks Studio of St. Albans; the Moundsville Tuesday Arts Club; Weyerhaeuser of Braxton County; S&S Engineers of Charleston; OPB&E Rentals LLC of Fairmont; Guy’s Buick GMC of Ranson and the West Virginia Breeders Classic Ltd.

Contact:
Jake Glance
304.926.0440

G-Eye™: Playground…

Campground at Burnsville Lake
Burnsville, WV

The Gilmer Free Press

The world is a looking glass and gives back to
every man the reflection of his own face.
~~  William Makepeace Thackeray ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

The best and most beautiful things in the
world cannot be seen or even touched
—they must be felt with the heart.
~~  Helen Keller ~~

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Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf,
and take an insect view of its plain.
~~  Henry David Thoreau ~~

Gilmer County Recreation Center Trail Rider

The Gilmer Free Press

This was the trail ride that took place at the Gilmer County Recreation Center two weeks ago.

There were over 60 riders they came and stayed at the Gilmer County Recreation Center for two days.

The ride was sponsored by Rob Lowther and Ronnie Williams.

A great time was had by all .

Stonewall Resort to Host Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race- August 16, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Stonewall Resort is “Calling all Captains” to participate in the Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race, to be held Saturday, August 16, 2014 on Stonewall Jackson Lake and presented by the Stonewall State Park Foundation and the Stonewall Jackson Lake Boaters Association, resort officials announced.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director at Stonewall Resort, said, “Gather your crew, build your cardboard boat and join us on Stonewall Jackson Lake for this unique and fun event.”

Norris said teams are to construct their vessels out of cardboard, following the rules on the registration form.

On race day, teams are to have their “boats” at the launch site by 9:00 AM Boaters will meet in the boat loading parking lot, located behind the Roanoke Activity Plaza.

The area will be marked with signs directing participants where to go.

The race begins at 9:30 AM.

Trophies will be awarded for first through third places, for best overall design and also for the most spectacular “sinking”.

There is a small fee per boat and all boat crews will receive a t-shirt.

For event rules and registration, please visit StonewallResort.com and click on the Calendar of Events tab or call the marina at 304.269.8895.

To ensure the desired t-shirt size, participants are encouraged to register as quickly as possible as the event is only a few days way. There will be late registration at 8:00 AM the day of the event at the Roanoke Activity Plaza.  All registered participants must meet at the Roanoke Activity Plaza, no later than 9:00 AM.

Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in the boat.

“This will be a great event for participants and spectators and we encourage all groups – Boy, Scouts, Girl Scouts, school groups, 4-H groups and others – to register and compete in the race,” Norris said.

Stonewall State Park Foundation to Host Children’s Nature Camp July 14-17, 2014

Stonewall State Park Foundation will host a four-day, hands-on Nature Odyssey camp July 14-17, open to all children going into grades 2-7.

The foundation conducts a variety of special programs each year at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “Stonewall Resort State Park offers many educational and recreational opportunities for children. Nature Odyssey campers will have the opportunity to learn about area wildlife, hike throughout our trail system and explore the nature around them.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Norris said the day-camp runs from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and will be led by Barbara Tucker, a skilled education professional with many years of experience. Tucker is a longtime resident of Lewis County who currently teaches at Jane Lew Elementary school.

Campers will be divided into groups by age – second through fourth graders and fifth through seventh graders – and will spend the day working within their groups. Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost of the camp.

The cost is $35 per child per day with a $5 discount (per day) for those who complete early registration for the entire week. Registration will include all supplies needed for the educational and recreational activities.

All registrants must complete a liability waiver, emergency contact form, and a medical overview of special needs.

This camp was made possible by donations from BrickStreet Foundation, ACCESS Midstream Partners, CONSOL Energy, Lewis County Commission, Central Supply, GAI Consultants, Jane Lew Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Weston.

To register or for more information, visit www.stonewallresort.com or contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.8820.

GSC Women’s Basketball: Kids Day Camp 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

Outdoor Adventure Weekends at North Bend State Park Feature Mountain Biking and Kayaking

The Gilmer Free Press

North Bend State Park helps people get interested in outdoor recreation by offering hikes, swimming and games on a daily basis. However, physical activity options are being cranked up with mountain bike and kayak clinics scheduled over three summer “Outdoor Adventure Weekends.”

Mountain bike clinics include three sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours. “It’s a get-started program to encourage biking as an outdoor pursuit, said Steve Jones, North Bend State Park superintendent. “However, the clinic also caters to intermediate bikers.” Participants must bring their own equipment. Topics covered include “your bike,” “ride safely,” “basic maintenance,” “motor efficiency” and “skill development.”

The adventure weekends expand to include kayak clinics that include one training session lasting two hours and one future free rental. Equipment is provided. Basic instruction for flat water kayaking is the dominate focus. Topics include “boats and equipment,” “getting started,” “skill development,” and “different points of view.” Kayaking is conducted on the 305-acre North Bend Lake. Kim Coram is the lead instructor with other qualified instructors assisting. Class size is limited and small groups are welcomed.

Outdoor Adventure Weekend dates are July 05-06, August 16-17 and September 06-07, 2014, at North Bend State Park.

The program is open to day visitors or overnight guests.

The registration fee is $30 per clinic (bike or kayak) or $50 for both clinics.

Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 304.643.2931.

Blennerhassett Island Frolic and Picnic Meal - A Different “Out-to-Eat” Experience June 28, 2014

The summer season’s first of three “Island Frolic and Picnic Meals” is set for Saturday, June 28, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Blennerhassett Island State Park.

“If you’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to do with your family, try a relaxing evening on Blennerhassett Island, complete with sternwheeler ride, horse-drawn wagon ride, Mansion tour and dinner,” said Pam Salisbury, activities coordinator for Blennerhassett Island State Park.

The Island Belle sternwheeler will depart for the island from Civitan Park, in Belpre, Ohio, at 6:30 PM.

The cost of the Island Frolic is $27 for adults and $22 for children ages 3-12.

The Gilmer Free Press


The picnic-style meal starts around 7 PM and features hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, fresh fruit cup and a beverage.

Bicycles will be available (at no charge) for visitors to ride.

The island gift shop and snack stand will be open throughout the evening.

After an evening of frolicking on the island, visitors will return to Civitan Park at about 9:30 PM.

Tickets are sold at the Blennerhassett Museum in downtown Parkersburg and must be reserved in advanced.

Other dates for “Island Frolic and Picnic Meals” events are July 26 and August 23, 2014.

Learn more about Blennerhassett Island State park at www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com or call 304.420.4800 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Stonewall State Park Foundation to Host Children’s Nature Camp July 14-17, 2014

Stonewall State Park Foundation will host a four-day, hands-on Nature Odyssey camp July 14-17, open to all children going into grades 2-7.

The foundation conducts a variety of special programs each year at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “Stonewall Resort State Park offers many educational and recreational opportunities for children. Nature Odyssey campers will have the opportunity to learn about area wildlife, hike throughout our trail system and explore the nature around them.”

The Gilmer Free Press


Norris said the day-camp runs from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM and will be led by Barbara Tucker, a skilled education professional with many years of experience. Tucker is a longtime resident of Lewis County who currently teaches at Jane Lew Elementary school.

Campers will be divided into groups by age – second through fourth graders and fifth through seventh graders – and will spend the day working within their groups. Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost of the camp.

The cost is $35 per child per day with a $5 discount (per day) for those who complete early registration for the entire week. Registration will include all supplies needed for the educational and recreational activities.

All registrants must complete a liability waiver, emergency contact form, and a medical overview of special needs.

This camp was made possible by donations from BrickStreet Foundation, ACCESS Midstream Partners, CONSOL Energy, Lewis County Commission, Central Supply, GAI Consultants, Jane Lew Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Weston.

To register or for more information, visit www.stonewallresort.com or contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.8820.

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