WATER Is Life…Keep It Clean!

Water is at the heart of Eight Rivers Council’s advocacy. Pocahontas County is the birthplace of eight rivers. All water flows out of our county, none flows from outside in. The rivulets, runs, creeks, streams, rivers that head up in Pocahontas County are typically clean, cold water treasures valued by trout fishermen, naturalists, children, and all lovers of pristine beauty. Most of these streams originate on public forest land and are accessible to everyone. Some of Pocahontas County contains Karst with subterranean waters. Many people get their drinking water from wells or springs, with Marlinton getting its water from Knapps Creek.

Water shortages are commonplace throughout the U.S.A. and the world. Water pollution poses serious health problems, and is costly to treat for potable purposes. Pocahontas County’s clean water is our greatest natural asset, and a bright path for our future…that is, if it is not squandered for the proverbial “mess of pottage” of short-term gain for long-term loss.


The ABRA Conservation Hub

ABRA’s Conservation Hub program promotes responsible resource management by providing access to critical information needed for effective public involvement in environmental review and oversight.

Following the defeat of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in 2020 through its then coalition of 50 organization, ABRA shifted to initiate the Conservation Hub to support informed public engagement with the broader range of environmental issues confronting the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Mountain region. The Conservation Hub builds on the analysis and information sharing capacity achieved through ABRA’s Pipeline CSI project during the years of ACP opposition.

The Conservation Hub is based on the use of GIS mapping to provide details and context for land development projects and management practices that involve risk of environmental harm, as well as for environmental preservation and restoration initiatives. The Conservation Hub also provides access to regulatory documents and assessments related to specific projects or issues.

Greenbrier River Watershed Association is based in Lewisburg, WV, and covers the entire Greenbrier River and its tributaries. The Greenbrier River Watershed Association is a nonprofit organization that partners with other environmental nonprofits, government organizations, and like-minded groups to educate the public.  Its goal is for citizens to appreciate the watershed’s unique resources. The association also works with local schools and civic groups to teach classes, organize field trips, and support similar organizations that protect the watershed.

Downstream Strategies is a West Virginia company that offers environmental consulting services that combine sound interdisciplinary skills with a core belief in the importance of protecting the environment and linking economic development with natural resource stewardship. They have worked with the Pocahontas County Resource Task Force in its management plan.

West Virginia Rivers Coalition is the statewide voice for water-based recreation and clean, drinkable, swimmable, and fishable rivers and streams–from the headwaters to wherever water flows in West Virginia. The coalition is also the West Virginia state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Its mission is to conserve and restore West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams. The coalition believes that clean water is the foundation of life, and that all people should respect and be able to enjoy clean West Virginia rivers and streams.

Pocahontas County Resource Task Force was formed, sponsored, and financed by The Pocahontas County Commission in 2008.  The Task Force was strongly endorsed by Eight Rivers Council. In many ways unique to West Virginia, the Task Force put together a Water Resources Management Plan, had sponsored mapping, water testing and well testing workshops, and offered numerous educational and resource management information and tools. The board was all volunteer and put in countless hours to understand and protect the valuable water in our county. Sadly, The Pocahontas County Commission discontinued the Task Force in 2019. Much of the remarkable data gathered by the Task Force then disappeared. The Wayback Machine has archived some of the late 2018 website with some of the pages and links therein still viable.

Birthplace of Rivers National Monument is a citizen-based initiative to preserve a rare and iconic part of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. Birthplace of Rivers would be the first National Monument in West Virginia.

Nature’s Mountain Playground is the trademarked moniker for the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It’s front web page highlights the following:“Welcome to the Birthplace of Rivers.  The Greenbrier, Gauley, Elk, Cherry, Cranberry, Tygart Valley, Williams, and Shavers Fork of the Cheat rivers all begin in the pristine mountains of West Virginia. The only surface water that enters the county does so as precipitation; all other water flows out.  It’s a place of crystal clear streams, native brook trout, roaring waterfalls, and an authentic kind of people.” 

Sparkling, clean, beautiful, life-giving water

Pristine Water For Our Children’s Future

Great Greenbrier River Race in April

Exploring a stream is wonderful child’s play. We are blessed in Pocahontas County to have abundant opportunities for our children to be out in nature.