West Virginia Forestry Division’s Foliage Reports Canceled

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Officials say the layoffs of 37 West Virginia Division of Forestry workers have led to the cancellation of the division’s annual fall foliage reports.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail ( ), West Virginia Department of Commerce marketing and communications director Chelsea Ruby says the forestry division does not have enough staff to produce the weekly reports about changing leaf colors across the state.

Officials say the layoffs of 37 forestry workers earlier this year came in response to a $1.7 million budget shortfall. The layoffs eliminated one-third of all forester positions, reducing the agency’s ability to inspect logging operations, fight wildfires and give management advice to timber owners.

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, West Virginia State Parks and tourism-related businesses are launching a web-based platform to showcase autumn foliage.