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  * located in Tucker County, West Virginia

  * 14 miles long and 5 miles wide
  * 55 square-mile watershed
      (35,000 acres)
                                                          * 3,200 feet elevation
                                                          * drainage by Blackwater River
                                                              and tributaries
                                                          * more than 6,700 acres of

    Sitting high in the Allegheny mountains in eastern
Tucker County, West Virginia, is a unique and beautiful
area known as Canaan Valley.  With an average
elevation of 3,200 feet above sea level and a 35,000-
acre watershed, it is the highest valley of its size east
of the Rocky Mountains. Its  northern forest character
and unique wetlands  support many plants and animals
that are unusual and rare, not only in West Virginia
but also the eastern United States.
    Residents, government officials at the local, state,
and federal levels, and concerned  citizens across the
nation are engaged in a cooperative effort through the
Canaan Valley Task Force to  ensure that the Valley
will always be a national treasure.
                                                                                                   © Crede Calhoun

    In 1974 the Secretary of the Interior designated a
portion of Canaan Valley as a National Natural
Landmark. The designation was given, in part, because
the Valley contains a boreal ecosystem: a collection of
plants and animals in an environment that is usually
found much farther north in areas of New England and
Canada. In fact, the area has been referred to as "a
little bit of Canada gone astray."
    The high altitude and cool moist climate of Canaan
Valley have maintained this assemblage  of plants and
wildlife that reflect Ice Age influences. Logging and
farming in the past century have also left their legacy
in the Valley's current plant life and wetlands.
    Predominantly shrub swamps and bogs, Canaan
Valley's 6,700 acre.s of wetlands comprise the largest
wetland area in West Virginia  and in the central and
southern Appalachian Mountains. Forty different
wetland and upland plant communities intermix in the
Valley and support more than 580 different species of
plants. These range from the  delicate sundew and
showy cotton-grass to the stately red spruce and
fragrant balsam fir.
    The diversity of plants  and habitats in Canaan
Valley supports equally varied wildlife —  more than
280 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians,
and fishes  are known or likely to occur in the Valley.
    The rich and diverse habitats, combined with the
Valley's scenic beauty and spectacular mountain vistas
create a land of great complexity and endless
fascination. Nowhere else  is  there a place with all of
the characteristics of Canaan.  It is, indeed, a national
>*=*!r _ «_.
                       Joe McDonald
Dick Foe
                       Joe McDonald.

                                          © Crede Cathoun.
                                                                            Stephen J. Shafuta, Jr., WV Division of Tourism & Parks

© Crede Calhoun
                                                              Tom Fegely
© Crede Calhoun
pf "Wetland" is a  collective  term  for  swamps,
fcbQgs,  marshes,  wet meadows,  and similar
^|greas .that Jorm a transition, zone between dry
Ufuplands and open water.  Wetlands have both
pf^essential and desirable benefits  to human
ts&populations.      ,
&vV~:'_ ''.-'"•     -
gj     Wetlands:     ,

5t'"       " provide fish and wildlife habitat
Kr~--^    -improve water quality

Si^] • •"•'.,''-- reduce flood damage
fc»r":•"•"''.'••- recharge groundwater
    ---•'-'.;;'   - offer recreational opportunities
   ;"'.,  •';..-' cidd aesthetic dimensions  to the
jiiK- -^ •'•:"•    "environment
                 JB-f:For  more  information,  contact the  state  or   1
                 ptifederal agencies  listed  at the  end  of this   !
                 !*"* booklet,                                        '
                 -^i-^:;.v..;.-:.;.,.^.,:,:v:,.r--f.,.\,-   ..•.-,•  I

    The natural resources and recreational
opportunities found In Canaan Valley are enjoyed by
the residents, both permanent and seasonal, and by
more than 1.5 million annual visitors. Management
and preservation of its natural resources are intimately
tied to an understanding of and  consideration for
human needs and land uses.
    At present, Canaan Valley is the permanent home
of more than 160 families, many of whom have
ancestral ties to pioneers who settled in the Valley
more than 1,00 years  ago. In addition, it is a seasonal
home to more than 1,100 second-home or vacation-
property owners.
    Of the 35.000 acres in the Canaan Valley
watershed, approximately 10,000 acres in the southern
portion have been developed for residential, resort,
and recreational uses—4,000 acres privately and 6,000
acres publicly as the  Canaan Valley State Park.
              O Credo CaUioun
                                         © Crede Calhoun
    Recreational opportunities include hiking, bird
watching, hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, and
mountain biking. First rate facilities also provide
down-hill and cross-country skiing, ice skating,
golfing, swimming, tennis, and horseback riding.
    Revenues generated from tourism and associated
services help to maintain Tucker County's economic
vitality. Future growth, development, and employment
throughout Tucker County are, therefore, linked to
activities within Canaan Valley.
                                                                            Stephen J. Shcduta, Jr., WV Division of Tourism & Parks
                                                                                                © Crede Calhoun

    Several local, state, and federal regulations protect
Canaan Valley's natural resources, particularly
wetlands and water quality.
    The Canaan Valley District Zoning Ordinance,
enacted in 1987, restricts specific activities, facilities,
and industries that would adversely affect the natural
resources and inherent beauty of the Valley.
    The Clean Water Act, Section  4O4, regulates
discharge of fill material into all waters of the United
States, including wetlands. A permit,  issued by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is required for any
activity involving the filling of wetlands.
    Wasteload allocations are used by the West
Virginia Division of Natural Resources to limit how
much treated wastewater can be discharged into a
stream and the concentration of each pollutant
allowed to remain after treatment.  Discharge permits
are issued to qualified applicants until the wasteload
allocation of a stream is reached. In Canaan Valley
domestic sewage is treated through the use of septic
tanks or package treatment plants to produce water
that is safe for return to the environment.
                                       © Crede Calhowi

            Protecting Canaan Valley's unique environment
        requires a long-range strategy that focuses on the
        entire valley. Tucker County officials , along with
        federal, state, and local participants on the Canaan
        Valley Task Force, are addressing key issues that
        affect the natural resources and residents of the
            The Task Force serves as a public forum to share
        ideas, increase understanding, and seek solutions.
        Toward this end, the Task Force and County officials
        have initiated several studies.  For example, ongoing
        studies of surface and ground water will aid in water
        management in the future.  Efforts are also underway
        to track patterns of development and changes, in
        habitat,  and to map wetlands, which will provide
        valuable tools for land use planning.  Another study
        addresses unregulated off-road vehicle (ORVJ use which
        is impairing the functions and beauty of wetlands and
        uplands, particularly In the northern end of the Valley.
             Also of concern is nonpoint source water pollution
        which occurs when sediments or pesticides  are washed
        into streams and when septic systems fail and wastes
        seep Into groundwater. These problems lower water
        quality, damage fish spawning beds, deplete oxygen,
        and poison fish.
                  Larry Klotz
                                         © Crede Cathoun
    In addition to seeking a better understanding of
resource issues, Tucker County officials and the Task
Force have facilitated discussion of topics such as
wetland values and the proposed National Wildlife
Refuge.  Through this cooperative effort, we can gain a
better understanding of today's problems and make
sound recommendations for protecting the Valley's
resources for the future.
                                                                        © Crede Cathoun
                                                                                                          ® Crede Calhoun

    Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge was
formally proposed, in 1979, when the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service issued a final environmental impact
statement.  A refuge will provide long-term protection
of the existing natural beauty and unique habitats of
Canaan Valley: features that draw many visitors and
residents  to the Valley.
    Unlike parks, refuges are established and manage'd
with fish and wildlife needs as the top priority. In
addition, the Service strives to provide visitors with
educational and  recreational opportunities such as
wildlife observation  and photography, environmental
education, hiking, hunting, and fishing when these
uses are compatible with the primary purposes of the
    When acquiring lands, the Service will follow its
long-standing policy of working with willing sellers —
that.is, those landowners who want to sell their land
to the government at fair market value.  The Service is
not interested in acquiring properties in Canaan Valley
that have significant residential or recreational
development or undeveloped lots within existing
developments. Properties not acquired within the
Valley would be subject only to existing federal, state,
and local  laws and not to any additional restrictions.
               © Crede Calhoun
                                           Gerald S. Ratliff
    The local community will benefit from an annual
payment from the federal government to local
government through the Refuge Revenue Sharing Act as
compensation for lost tax revenues.  The community
will also benefit from refuge expenditures during
construction of facilities and .through annual
operations.  Also, refuge visitors will spend tourist
dollars, thus enhancing the  local economy..    ...
                                                                      Stephen J. Shaluta, Jr.,
                                                                 •WV Division of Tourism & Parks
                                              Tom Fegely
                               Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

    Each of us shares in determining Canaan Valley's
future, and how the Valley will be experienced by our
children and their children.  Before us are complex
Issues such as the proposed National Wildlife Refuge,
continued development, water quality, and ORV use.
The decisions we  make  today to address these issues
will determine the Valley of tomorrow. Through
responsible action at all levels, Canaan Valley will
remain a national treasure.
                                                                     («';i"->'	l*i;?'f{|%'*l;:«;s'1'"	*'"'"i1"f.^'l*';1,	^'-:;':^'f^f¥!fr'~^'f:^"^i:^'
                                                                                        " "  '
                                                                               Stephen J. Shaluta, Jr., WV Division of Tourism & Parks

   This booklet was prepared by the Canaan Valley
Task Force, composed of officials from federal and
state agencies; representatives from Tucker County
government, Canaan Valley organizations,  and
conservation organizations; and land and business
owners.  The purpose of the Task Force is  to protect
the unique ecosystem and natural resources of Canaan
Valley while considering local community needs.

   Additional information may be found in Task Force
Fact Sheets, available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (address below), and by contacting:
            Tucker County Commission
            213 First Street
            Parsons, WV 26287

            WV Division of Natural Resources
            Capitol Complex, Building 3
            Charleston, WV  25305

            U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
            Post Office Box 1278
            Elkins, WV  26241

            U.S. Environmental Protection
               Agency (3ES42)
            Environmental Assessment Branch
            841 Chestnut Building
            Philadelphia, PA 19107

            U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
            Regulatory  Division
            Federal Building
            1000 Liberty Avenue
            Pittsburgh, PA 15222
 WV Highlands Conservancy
 Route 1, Box 227
 Rock Cave, WV 26234

 Sierra Club
* Morgantown, WV  26504

 National Audubon Society
 Mid-Atlantic Regional Office
 1104 Fernwood Avenue, Suite 300
 Camp Hill, PA 17011

 National Wildlife Federation
 Mid-Atlantic Region
 1406 16th Street, N.W.
 Washington, D. C.  20036-2266
                                                                   Cover Photo © Crede Calhoun

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