News Briefs from Across Appalachia

By Lorelei Goff

From a win for rural West Virginia residents fighting a corporate polluter to expanding outdoor recreation, here are a few happenings from across Appalachia.

West Virginia Residents Defeat Timber Fumigation Facility

Residents of Baker, West Virginia, can breathe easier after defeating Allegheny Wood Products’ attempt to build a log fumigation plant in a residential and agricultural area of their town. The plant would have spewed nearly 10 tons of methyl bromide into the air annually.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, methyl bromide, an ozone depleter largely banned in 1987, is a neurotoxic gas that can cause convulsions, coma, long-term neuromuscular and cognitive deficits, and death.

The company withdrew its application for the plant’s air permit in May after strong opposition from the community, and cited the need for a thorough reassessment of its business requirements.

Ohio’s Baileys Trail System Gets $4.17 Million

Ohio awarded a $4.17 million Appalachian Community Grant to the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia, which will use the funds for projects impacting six counties. The focus of the project is to complete trails and visitor facilities for the Baileys Trail System to and offer lodging and connectivity with neighboring communities.

The project also includes expanded healthcare access in Athens and Meigs Counties and workforce training in fields such as hospitality, emergency first response and land management.

Virginia Parks Offer Paddle Quest

Wandering Waters Paddle Quest offers an opportunity to view Virginia State Parks from a new perspective while earning prizes.

Paddlers can join ranger-guided or self-led adventures on streams, lakes, rivers and bays at 31 parks. Rental equipment or personal paddling gear, including canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards or paddle boats can be used.

“Things look and feel different from the water,” says Visitor Experience Specialist Sammy Zambon. “There is a connection between water, boat, paddle and paddle that is very soothing.”


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