Parts of Canaan Valley to be protected as natural areas


Natural Areas Designation program meeting at Canaan Valley

CANAAN VALLEY, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is committed to protecting land and species that are rarely found anywhere else in the world; they are continuing this effort in parts of Canaan Valley.

W.Va. DNR teamed up with several other agencies to make an announcement about the Natural Areas Designation program during a meeting at Canaan Valley Resort this morning. The program will set aside areas of the Canaan Valley Wetlands and Bald Knob for conservation. The DNR says it will work hand in hand with all of its agencies and public landowners to protect these areas for generations to come.

West Virginia DNR director, Stephen McDaniel, explained the need to conserve areas in the state. “There are hundreds of areas throughout the state. There are hundreds of different types of species that are either in danger or in trouble, and we want to make sure we identify those and as we can set those areas aside, and set those areas aside to make sure they are protected now and in the future.” 

Wildlife Diversity Unit Coordinator, Kieran O’Malley, said that some things in West Virginia are actually pretty rare, including the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander and West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrels. “We’ve got some globally rare plants that occur nowhere else in the world or at least maybe one or two other places in North America and that’s it for the world,” she said.

Red Spruce at Canaan Valley

She continued to explain that learning about the natural wonders of the state helps to make preserving them more valuable. “Students Come out here all the time, and they’re able to see something that occurs here in the valley that doesn’t occur anywhere else in the world. So that’s why those areas are important, and that’s why we’re here today to set those areas aside.”

The DNR will soon announce other areas around the state that are part of its Natural Areas Designation program.

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