CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Division of Highways has teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to trim back some of the overgrown canopies around North Central West Virginia.
“It creates hazards as far as material falling from those trees, it creates line of sight issues and it’s not very aesthetically pleasing whenever you’re driving down the road,” said DOH District Four Maintenance Assistant, Earl Gaskins.
To help preserve wildlife throughout the state, the Department of Highways is only allowed to work on this project November through March to help protect the Gray, Indiana, and Long-eared bats during the months of their hibernation.
“According to our permit, we’re allowed to do fourteen acres per district. It breaks down to two acres per county roughly, right about 2 miles we’re allowed to do this spring, that work has to be completed by March due to the endangered species in the area,” said Gaskins.
According to D.O.H. officials, removing canopies allows the sun to shine onto the road, reducing the moisture and increasing the sustainability of the road throughout the years.
Currently, there are three crews trimming overgrown canopies in Harrison, Doddridge, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties.