Public tour at Calvin Price State Forest
scheduled for March 29, 2014
West Virginia Division of Forestry officials will conduct a public tour of Calvin Price State Forest Saturday, March 29, 2014. This is an informational tour for the public to learn about plans for a proposed timber management project prescribed to provide more diverse wildlife habitat, forest growth potential and improved access to the forest. The proposed harvest site is in the western portion of the forest, southwest of the Laurel Run primitive camping area. This is an opportunity for the public to learn about the project in order to provide written comments.
The tour begins at 11 a.m. Participants should gather at the Camp Wood site near the confluence of Little Creek and Anthony Creek in Greenbrier County (intersection of County Routes 16 and 16/2) about a mile west of State Route 92. Look for Division of Forestry trucks. Bring substantial footwear, clothing appropriate for the weather, snacks or a lunch and water. The tour will involve a mile-long hike on steep uneven ground in the woods, with a short portion on an old road with some wet areas. Officials have prepared a “tailgate” presentation for those interested in seeing the beginning of the proposed road location, maps and pictures instead of taking the hike.
Those planning to attend should notify State Lands Manager Barbara Breshock by 4 p.m. Monday, March 24. If no one advises their intention to attend by that date, the tour will not be held.
For more information contact Barbara Breshock at the Beckley office at 304-256-6775 or Barbara.A.Breshock@wv.gov
ABOUT CALVIN PRICE STATE FOREST
Calvin Price State Forest was the last to be added to the West Virginia State Forest system. This State Forest is named in honor of the late Calvin W. Price, a Marlinton newspaper editor, prominent citizen and leading proponent of the purchase and ultimate designation of this area as a State Forest. Calvin Price State Forest consists of more than 9,400 contiguous acres located in southern Pocahontas County, adjacent to Watoga State Park, near Hillsboro. A small area in the southeast part of the Forest extends into Greenbrier County. The bulk of the Forest was purchased from the New River Lumber Company in 1953.
The first settlers to this area found vast stands of pine trees that reached a maximum development of approximately 100,000 board feet per acre. After harvesting pine stands in New England and the Great Lakes areas in the 1880s, loggers traveled to the Greenbrier River Valley to harvest this untapped resource. By the 1930s the task was completed and domestic farming was the predominate activity in the area. When the land was purchased in 1953 the forest had been largely cut over and the land was being heavily grazed by livestock.
The rich, moist sites of Calvin Price State Forest are home to a high quality mix of oaks and yellow poplar. Current oak stands rarely exceed 15,000 board feet per acre, but are highly valued in today's multiple-use management scheme. White pine is re-establishing a presence on many managed areas, as well as, poorer, less productive sites. Drier areas of the Forest primarily still produce white pine, which also is found along most of the stream bottoms. Today, pure stands of white pine only are found along the streams of the Forest, with volumes currently approaching 30,000 board feet per acre.
Unlike most of the other State Forests, Calvin Price has no developed recreational areas. This is due largely to the Forest's close proximity to Watoga State Park, one of West Virginia's largest recreational parks. Some primitive camping areas are available at Calvin Price State Forest. Hunting opportunities abound on Calvin Price State Forest for both small game and large game hunters. Nearly two-thirds of the Forest is accessible only by foot.
Immediately upon acquiring this land in 1953, foresters began using the multiple-use forest management approach. Much of the early work was intended to prepare the forest for sustained management. Some small pulpwood and rail harvests were conducted and some timber stand improvement work was done. A management plan was implemented in the 1970s but harvesting had to be done earlier than expected. A severe ice storm in 1979 felled about 400 acres of timber, necessitating salvage operations. Since that time, three additional harvests have been conducted and a fourth is currently under way. These harvests average 285 acres in size and removed about 1.1 million board feet per harvest. The focus of forest management on Calvin Price is directed toward maintaining the vigorous growth and good health of the Forest. These harvests are focused on diseased, damaged, suppressed or overstocked stands, removing only those trees necessary to sustain productive woodlands while providing for a diverse mixture of wildlife habitat.