The 750 acres of spongy, mossy Cranberry Glades Botanical Area are the largest area of bogs in West Virginia. Remnants of the last Ice Age, when glaciers pushed far into what is today the U.S., the bogs are now the southern-most point in North America where some of the flora and fauna found there survive and flourish. This incredible biological diversity of North meeting South is one of the reasons the Birthplace of Rivers deserves permanent protection. Beyond the ecological history, it’s just a beautiful part of West Virginia. Check out this video from WCHS, then plan your own sojourn to Birthplace of Rivers.
A couple months ago West Virginia Tourism launched a campaign to invite visitors outside to experience the state’s mountains, trails and rivers. What’s cool about the campaign is that it reminds people who live in the state to take time and “visit” their own backyard—including the Monongahela National Forest. Read a terrific essay by Tourism Commissioner Amy Shuler Goodwin, then be sure to plan your next outing into the Birthplace of Rivers. November is a magical time there, as leafless trees enable you see far into the forest as you walk a trail.
Faces of Birthplace of Rivers
Thomas Fletcher grew up on a farm in Webster County, W.Va., enjoying the Williams River. He moved away and explored the world in the U.S. Navy, but always knew he wanted to get back to the mountains. “I feel a closeness to the landscape here,” he says. “Growing up here you take it for granted. Being able to go out along the river, or take a hike in the mountains—that that’s just part of life. You don’t realize how special it is.”
Now an internationally known outdoor photographer with decades of accolades, he is lending his voice and his images to Birthplace of Rivers. “I think Birthplace of Rivers is a wonderful idea,” says Thomas. “This area deserves protecting, because it is unique and special . . . I think it’s very important that we preserve it for future generations so that they can see the beauty and enjoy the nature as I have seen it growing up and as I see it now.”
Click here to see Thomas’s photos and share the above video with the veterans in your life in honor of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.
Phil Smith has been featured in this newsletter before as a longtime leader on headwaters restoration and protection in the Monongahela National Forest. He is also past chair of the WV Council of Trout Unlimited and an avid fly fisherman. Now Phil has join the effort as a conservation specialist leading outreach efforts on the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument campaign. Connect with Phil at PSmith@wvrivers.org.
The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument collaboration has a new logo, designed by our own Mike Costello of the WV Wilderness Coalition. True to all Mike’s hand-carved blockprints, the logo captures the essence of a special place—the flow of water, the spruce, and the boulder strewn riverbed. You can almost feel a late-day mist rising in the last light before dusk. Cool stuff, Mike!
New Business Endorsements
Support continues to grow: 174 West Virginia businesses, 16 statewide organizations, 12 local governments, and 11 community organizations.