West Virginia Commissioner Opposes Parkland Logging

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s agriculture commissioner has recommended the Legislature and Gov. Jim Justice kill a bill that would open state parks to logging.

Commissioner Kent Leonhardt says the initiative to harvest trees within the parks system to fund park improvements is “poorly thought out.”

He predicts a negative effect on visitors and tourism, saying a better approach is instead using excess funds from more logging in state forests.

The bill calls for logging limits not exceeding “the average of four trees per acre per tract” and not to exceed half the sellable timber on an acre.

Conservation groups oppose lifting the 80-year ban on commercial logging of parklands.