Winter at the Station
New faces, a new year, and frigid temperatures
Winter is a magical time on the Monongahela National Forest. The forest is quiet and covered in glistening ice and snow, and small waterfalls from mountain streams seem to freeze in time. During this period when the furry creatures are hiding away until spring, the Forest Service prepares for the seasons to come. Marking project areas, evaluating timber, hiring seasonal staff and developing action plans are all part of the framework for the organized chaos that arrives in early spring.
A large part of these preparations at the Marlinton Ranger District is for new programs that will be implemented in the coming months. The newest addition being the exciting new watershed program that is forming on the southern half of the Forest. Pocahontas County is coveted as the Birthplace of Rivers, eight of them to be exact. So it is reasonable to assume that these rivers are important to the residents here and those of the surrounding counties. Kayaking, swimming and fishing are just a few of the ways our rivers are beloved to those who use them.
To emphasize the importance of our rivers the Monongahela has had successful watershed programs in the northern part of the forest. School snorkeling programs, aquatic surveys and restoration projects that will improve habitat for our cherished native brook trout and other native aquatic species are a few of the programs they have implemented. All of these elements and many more conducted by the watershed team are integral in keeping our beautiful rivers healthy and pristine.
This being said, the Marlinton Ranger District is thrilled to welcome our new Fisheries Biologist Kyle Tasker. Kyle is a graduate of Marshall University where he obtained his Master’s in Environmental Science. He enjoys playing racquetball at the Community Wellness Center in Marlinton. He also loves fishing whenever he can find the time. Kyle is very excited about the potential to improve fish habitat across the southern portion of the Forest. Kyle and his wife reside near Neola.
With all field arrangements for the upcoming season also comes many documents, filing, administration and office management tasks. To aid in these important and necessary tasks, the ranger station is also gaining a warm and welcoming face to the front office. We are happy to announce that Pam Burns will be our new Information Receptionist for the Marlinton-White Sulphur Ranger District. Pam is a local gem and West Virginia University alumna who resides in Woodrow with her husband, Jeremy, and their two children. If you stop in for a firewood permit, you’ll likely get a chance to meet Pam.
The Marlinton- White Sulphur Ranger District is thrilled to have such talented employees joining our office. We cannot wait to see what they accomplish during their time on Monongahela National Forest.
Great things are happening in the forest.
Until next time – Get outside and enjoy your public lands!