Current news and Events




Busy Weekend for Leaf Peepers
Fall foliage report #3
posted Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

The second weekend of October will be a colorful one, according to West Virginia’s state foresters. Leaves in Canaan Valley, Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob currently are at peak and, barring heavy rain or wind, should remain on the trees through the weekend.

The observation tower at Kumbrabow State Forest will be a busy place as visitors make their way up Rich Mountain Fire Trail to see the spectacular view from the top. The observation tower was constructed in 2013 with funds from a timber sale on the state forest. Since then, leaf peepers and photographers have found it to be an excellent spot for viewing fall foliage, especially when the leaves are at peak as they are now. Kumbrabow State Forest is in Randolph County.

Click here to read the complete report

Outdoor burning restrictions
effective October 1

West Virginia Division of Forestry officials remind residents that the state’s fall forest fire season starts Oct. 1, 2015, and runs through Dec. 31, 2015. During these three months, daytime burning is prohibited from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outdoor burning is permitted only between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.

State law requires a ring or safety strip around all outdoor fires to keep them from spreading into the woods. This safety strip must be cleared of all burnable material and be at least 10 feet wide completely around the debris pile.

Additional requirements of the state’s fire laws include staying on-site until the fire is extinguished and burning only vegetative materials like leaves, brush and yard clippings.

Anyone who starts a fire that escapes and causes a wildfire or forest fire is subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000. An additional civil penalty of $200 also will be assessed.

Click here for safe burning tips


West Virginia’s 2015 ginseng digging season starts Tuesday, Sept. 1 and runs through Monday, Nov. 30. The native herb grows in all of the state’s 55 counties and is ready to harvest when its berries turn red.

West Virginia state law requires “sengers,” those who dig the root, to harvest only plants with three or more prongs, indicating the plant is at least 5 years old. The number of prongs indicates the age of the plant. Another way to determine the age of a ginseng plant is to look at the base of the plant stem, where “bud scars” occur. A 5-year-old ginseng root will have at least four scars. The first year does not produce a scar on the root.

In addition, sengers are required to replant the berries/seeds from the parent plant in the spot where they harvested it to help continue the species.

Click here for everything ginseng


Clements State Tree Nursery is taking orders for the 2015-2016 planting season. Customers can choose from 26 different types of seedlings for whatever their needs may be, including reforestation, providing cover and food for wildlife, growing Christmas trees or reclaiming disturbed properties like those previously mined for coal. Among this year’s inventory are perennial favorites American chestnut, redbud, sugar maple and a variety of oaks. Clements Nursery also offers three types of evergreens: white and Scotch pines and Norway spruce.

All trees are bare-root seedlings and are 1, 2 or 3 years old. Seedlings are sold in bundles of 25. Prices depend on the number of seedlings ordered, and there is a 30 percent discount offered on orders of 5,000 or more. Seedlings are grown from seed sources within West Virginia and surrounding states. These seedlings include both native trees and others genetically suitable for planting in West Virginia and neighboring states.

Customers can order seedlings for either fall 2015 or spring 2016 planting. Nursery staff begins shipping seedlings for fall planting the week of Thanksgiving. The, online storefront , allows customers to shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Printable order form

Order online


Perfect for a summer read, check out the Community Arbor News. Read about Arbor Day in W.Va., the state Envirothon and Arbor Day Poster contest, Project CommuniTree and more!

Download Community Arbor News


Want to know which tree is the right tree to plant in your urban landscape? Check out this new publication, "Trees for Urban Landscapes."

Download Trees for Urban Landscapes

Why Become a Tree City USA?

Healthy urban trees provide full ecosystem services, saving your city money!

For every $1 spent on urban tree care, city residents receive $3-$4 in ecosystem services or direct environmental benefits derived from the existence of urban trees.

To learn more about the benefits of being a Tree City USA, download the

Tree City USA Fact Sheet


2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners from McDowell and Ritchie Counties

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Division of Forestry officials announced two winners in the 2015 West Virginia Arbor Day Poster Contest. McKaylee Lynch, a homeschool student in Harrisville, Ritchie County, took top prize in the fourth-grade category. Jacob Adkins of Bradshaw Elementary in McDowell County won top honors in the fifth-grade category. This year’s contest theme was “Trees Are … Beneficial!”

Read more... Click Here

Timber theft is a crime. Don’t be a victim!

Many timber theft cases involve absentee landowners who are vulnerable because they aren’t around to protect their property. In these cases, the thief is often long gone by the time the crime is discovered.

Tips to avoid being a victim of timber theft:

Absentee landowners:

Have someone you know and trust immediately report any cutting or trespassing on your land.

Mark all property lines to assure cutting on adjacent property does not encroach on yours.

All forest landowners:

Have a Bill of Sale before any cutting begins and NEVER sign a contract without checking several references of the buyer.

For the best price, insist on getting bids for your timber. Most importantly, if you do not know the timber business, find someone who does to help you determine volumes, current prices and potential bidders.

Call Before You Cut Web Site
List of Consulting Foresters
Association of Consulting Foresters
DOF Regional Offices


The Logging Sediment Control Act (LSCA), West Virginia Code 19-1B, mandates the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to limit and control erosion and soil movement into streams.The silvicultural BMPs recommended in this booklet are the most commonly used. Although situations will arise that require custom or alternative practices to minimize erosion and sedimentation as mandated by the LSCA, West Virginia Code 19-1B-7(g) requires that BMPs be used to control erosion and soil movement into streams. The primary goal of BMPs is to limit erosion and sedimentation by handling water in small amounts.

Download BMP Book

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