Birthplace of Rivers National Monument

Eight Rivers Council was one of the earliest organizations to endorse a proposal for a Birthplace of Rivers National Monument [BOR] on a portion of the Monongahela National Forest. Most of this national monument would be in Pocahontas County.We have based this upon our mission to protect water and local ecosystem integrity as well as to promote economic development built upon the strength protecting our natural ecological and scenic assets.

Numerous organizations around West Virginia and elsewhere support the establishment of this national monument. The process toward establishing a monument includes community input that can reflect values and use. Eight Rivers Council supports hunting, fishing, hiking, camping in a national monument. We also advocate that the National Forest Service manage the monument and WV Department of Natural Resources regulate the hunting and fishing.

National and regional polls show high support in the 90% range for public lands. The Monongahela National Forest is a patrimony “owned” equally by each citizen of The United States. Those of us who live in Pocahontas County have the extra privilege to live close enough to enjoy our public lands on any day, something most people in the populous East can only realize with a long drive.

The initial proposed national monument was not passed by Congress or declared by the President. However, the proposal should be revisited and kept viable.


Downstream Strategies, a West Virginia-based environmental consulting and technical services firm, performed an economic analysis that calculates that the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument would increase extra tourism adding $14.5 million per year to the region’s economy including 42 new jobs and $200,000 more state and local taxes. See report, Birthplace of Rivers Economic Impacts .pdf 1.5 mb

Professor Dr. Thomas Power, University of Montana, has studied rural economics for decades. His book, Lost Landscapes and Failed Economies, is a most outstanding work. Although published almost 20 years ago, I highly recommend it. Used copies are available online.  See book review by Allen Johnson.

Birthplace of Rivers National Monument
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National Parks Traveler Survey of Western Attitudes Show Bipartisan Support

WVMR program shows organizations and persons supporting Birthplace of Rivers Nat. Monument (Link currently unavailable)
(June, 2012)The commission read letters in support of the proposal from Snowshoe Mountain, Inc.; West Virginia Trout Unlimited; Eight Rivers Council; the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association; Christians For The Mountains; Shavers Fork Coalition Pocahontas County Free Libraries; Hillsboro Library Friends; the Convention and Visitors Bureau; Mountain Valley Properties and Snowshoe COO Frank DeBerry.

WV Trout Unlimited Support for BOR Nat. Mon. .pdf

WV Rivers Coalition Statement of support magazine article

and then there is…
Opposition to Birthplace of Rivers Nat. Mon.