narrow bar title

Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area

AFNHA News    |     About AFNHA    |     Visit AFNHA    |     AFNHA Participation    |     Contact Us


What's NEW With AFNHA? -- Bulletins and Notices

Spring 2019

First Stakeholders Meeting of the new AFNHA is set.

Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area invites you to attend our annual Stakeholder's Meeting in Keyser, WV on May 6, 2019.  Details on Event Listing HERE and on our Facebook Page HERE.

AFNHA AmeriCorps applications are now OPEN.

See our AmeriCorps page for information on positions to start in September 2019.

Winter 2019

Appalachian Forest
National Heritage Area
now a reality!

Our designation as a National Heritage Area became official with the signing on March 12 of the S 47 National Resources Management Act. (For details, see HERE)

Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area designation approaches recognition! Our designation was included in the Senate lands bill that passed the Senate on February 12, 2019! (See HERE for more.)


Fall 2018

Potomac Highlands ROAR
(Regional Outdoor Adventure Recreation)
Highlands Hiking Challenge

ROAR (Regional Outdoor Adventure Recreation) is your key to discovering all of the great adventures that the region has to offer. ROAR was officially launched on August 21, 2018 with the Highlands Hiking Challenge as its first initiative.

Spring 2018

Join the Campaign for Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Designation.

Show your support now for our region to become a National Heritage Area. This national recognition and increased funding will benefit all AFHA communities in the 18-county highlands region of West Virginia and western Maryland. See more HERE.          

Special Guest for AFHA Annual Meeting,
Coming March 16th in Moorefield

AFHA is excited to announce that Alan Spears, from the National Parks Conservation Association, will join us for our AFHA Annual Meeting to speak about National Heritage Areas. The program will also include tour and panel on regional heritage tourism development, and AFHA AmeriCorps team presentations. Come participate, learn about National Heritage Areas, and about what is going on in our own area! For more details, see HERE.

Winter 2018

What Did The AFHA Accomplish In 2017?
See a few of the answers in the new flyer HERE. Also covered in this document are the 2017 contributions of the AFHA's fine AmeriCorps workers.

The Second Annual Benefit Concert will be hosted by the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA), in cooperation with ArtsBank, Inc., on Saturday, January 27, 2018. All proceeds will go to ArtsBank, a nonprofit artist residency program that supports youth arts education in local schools. The concert will be at the Randolph County Community Arts Center. For details, see the event page HERE.

(Position Filled as of May 2018)
AFHA Now Hiring for Program Associate position
(paid, full-time)
AFHA is seeking a Program Associate to start in the Summer of 2018, to help with implementation and administration primarily of the AFHA AmeriCorps program and to a lesser degree for other AFHA activities and projects. Primary duties will include assisting with recruitment, training, oversight and reporting for the AFHA AmeriCorps program. If you are interested, see details HERE.

AFHA is Inviting Applications from organizations to sponsor AFHA AmeriCorps members. For information, contact us at or click HERE

Summer 2017

AFHA is Recruiting now for AmeriCorps members for 2017 - See HERE.

AFHA is still hiring until filled for Program Associate Staff Position - Details HERE.

National Heritage Area House Bill Introduced
Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.), with co-sponsorship by Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va) and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), has introduced H.R. 3142 - the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act of 2017, in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill brings national recognition for Appalachian Forest Heritage Area one step closer to reality. For more information on AFNHA National Heritage Area efforts click HERE.

Spring 2017

AFHA Spring Members Meeting - Summersville May 11

The annual members meeting for Appalachian Forest Heritage Area will be held Thursday, May 11, at Old Main in Summersville. Everyone interested is invited. The meeting will feature tours and presentations about Nicholas County, a discussion panel about conservation partnerships, and presentations by AFHA AmeriCorps members. For more information about this meeting, see the details HERE (PDF).

AFHA Now Hiring for Program Associate position (paid, full-time)
AFHA is seeking a Program Associate to help with implementation and administration primarily of the AFHA AmeriCorps program and to a lesser degree for other AFHA activities and projects. Primary duties will include assisting with recruitment, training, oversight and reporting for the AFHA AmeriCorps program. If you are interested, see details HERE.

National Heritage Area Bill Moved Out Of Committee

Senate Bill 401 to designate the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, introduced in February by Sen. Joe Manchin with co-sponsorship from Sen. Capito, Sen. Cardin, and Sen. Van Hollen, has been combined with three other proposed National Heritage Areas into Senate Bill 713 "National Heritage Area Authorization Act of 2017." This bill was approved unanimously on March 30 by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. For more information click HERE.

Winter 2017

Senate AFNHA Bill Introduced

Senate Bill 401 to designate Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area was introduced by Senators Manchin, Capito, Cardin and Van Hollen. For more information, click HERE.

What did AFHA and its volunteers accomplish over the last year?

A new summary is now available HERE.

Fall 2016

AFHA & C-Hope Present:
Penn Johnson in concert at the Darden Mill

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Admission $10, Students and AmeriCorps $5

AFHA and C-HOPE are pleased to present Penn Johnson in concert at the Darden Mill on Wednesday November 16th at 7:30 pm. Penn is part of a dying breed; wandering the world in search of fresh vegetables, a new community, and a place to hang his hat. A storyteller by nature and a folksinger by trade, he's chiseled himself a genre dubbed SoulFolk Storytelling, inspired by talkin' blues, soul, and mind/body meditation. Two years of sleepless nights in stranger towns searching for adventure have smoothed his storytelling craft and inspired him to look beyond the idea of personalized fame and to focus on spreading the music flowing through him for the sake of the song.

Penn's unique style is more reminiscent of spoken word than folk music. His gruff vocals latch onto catchy hooks and upbeat strums, encouraging audiences to drift away into their minds and release their spirits through movement. Penn's stories give stream-of-consciousness vignettes of his experiences -- ranging from hitch-hiking in Australia to death threats in Pennsylvania -- and call for a return to a loving and peaceful existence.

For more information about Penn, including photos and music links, please visit

The Darden Mill is located at the corner of 1st and Railroad Ave. in Elkins, WV. There is limited evening parking at the MIll, but close by on-street parking is available in downtown Elkins.

For more information please call 304.637.6182, visit our Facebook event page, or email

AFHA National Heritage Area Bill Heard In Committee

Senate Bill 3167, to establish the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area was presented before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on September 22. National Park Service written testimony supported passage of the bill, and Sen. Manchin and Sen. Capito both spoke in support. (See video of the hearing HERE - Select "S.3167 - Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act of 2016" from the list.)

Sen Manchin's comments on our bill are at 43.12 on the archived hearing, and Sen Capito's comments are at 56:40. Department of the Interior written testimony is third link from the bottom of the page with a brief positive mention by Neil Kornze at 1:09:38

AFHA supporters are encouraged to thank your Senators and Congressmen for supporting National Heritage Area designation for AFHA (S. 3167 and HR 693) See HERE for more information.

Summer 2016

AFHA National Heritage Area Bill Introduced

Senators Manchin, Mikulski, Cardin, and Capito introduced the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act of 2016, on Tuesday, July 13. The legislation would designate the 18 county Appalachian Forest Heritage Area as a National Heritage Area, recognizing it as nationally significant, and providing eligibility for technical assistance and funding through the National Park Service. With HR 693 already introduced in the House, this marks the first time we've had active AFNHA legislation in both Houses of Congress! Go HERE for full press release.

Endangered Species Act, Section 7 Training

Thursday, 25 August in Elkins, WV -
Join us as we welcome Glenn Smith, USFWS Regional ESA Section 7 Coordinator, for a 1 day training on consultation under the Endangered Species Act! We encourage all partners and environmental consulting groups to participate! Go HERE to find out more.

Spring 2016

AFHA AmeriCorps Now Recruiting for Next Term

AFHA AmeriCorps program is accepting applications now for members to serve starting September 2016. For more information on our program, see:

2016 Stakeholders Meet Coming Up

AFHA invites you to participate in our Annual Stakeholders Meeting, May 10 in Philippi, featuring heritage tourism connections and trails program.


Winter 2016

Martin Luther King Day - AFHA AmeriCorps Day of Service

Fall 2015

Americorps Positions Still Available!

As of the beginning of November, several positions are still seeking members with the desire to help local communities.  For details, see HERE.


Spring 2015


Stakeholders Meeting Coming Up

 AFHA Stakeholders meeting will be May 13 at the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center in Elkins. For more detail on the meeting see our meeting page HERE, or read the same information in our current NEWSLETTER.

AFHA Americorps Now Recruiting

      AFHA AmeriCorps is now recruiting for new members for the term to start September 2015. We are accepting applications for sites until April 22. For more information, see:

Winter 2015

AFHA Concert Series at the Darden Mill

The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) is pleased to announce a concert series for 2015 that will feature traditional music artists from the region and beyond. This series is being held in conjunction with a new exhibit which will open later in the spring, “Homespun & Handmade: Culture in the AFHA Region.” Concerts will be held at the Darden Mill, a historic industrial building just one block away from downtown Elkins which now hosts AFHA’s Appalachian Forest Discovery Center and the West Virginia Railroad Museum.

The next concert in the series features Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller with Gerry Milnes on Wednesday February 25th at 7:30pm. Together, this trio recorded Cherry River Line: Traditional Music from the Monongahela National Forest, an album of fiddle tunes and songs collected by Gerry that are from or tell about the Mon Forest. Jesse, Emily and Gerry all live in Randolph County, West Virginia, but this will be a rare opportunity to see them play together locally!

The museum is located at the corner of First Street and Railroad Avenue in Elkins, WV.
2 Railroad Ave.
Elkins, WV 26241

Evening parking is available at the Mill, on-street, and in the H&R Block lot across the street.

Find out more by visiting HERE as well as this website and our Facebook page.We are also featured on the Mountain Music Trail  (

Or call (304) 637-6182 or email for more info.

National Heritage Area Bill!

     A bill to designate the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 3. HR 693 was introduced by Congressman David McKinley (WV-1) with co-sponsorship from Congressmen Evan Jenkins (WV-3), Alex Mooney (WV-2) and John Delaney (MD-6). This is the first time our bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives. For more info and how you can help see

Fall 2014

AFHA AmeriCorps - Off To A Great Start

For more about our AmeriCorps program see:

Swearing In 2014

The expanded AFHA AmeriCorps team started in September under two grant
programs funded by Corporation for National and Community Service
through Volunteer West Virginia. AFHA AmeriCorps: Enhancing Assets to
Benefit Communities has 27 slots doing conservation, community
development, and hands-on historic preservation service. AFHA
AmeriCorps: Growing Communities through Heritage Development has 11
slots focusing on heritage development at museums and historic sites.

Spring 2014

AFHA Exhibit Featured at new Darden Mill

     The Darden Mill, located on the corner of Railroad Avenue and First Street in Elkins, opened its doors to the public with a Grand Opening of the building on Friday, April 25th, from 5pm to 8pm.

Darden ribbon cutting

   Restoration, preservation, and renovation work at the Darden Mill occurred over several years, with funding from a USDA Rural Development grant and with some labor provided by the AFHA AmeriCorps hands-on team members. Today the building stands as a tribute to Elkins' industrial past, but also as a new and hopeful enterprise in downtown Elkins.
   The building is home to the AFHA exhibit, "Discovering the Appalachian Forest," which is still on display. The Grand Opening introduced a new exhibit by the West Virginia Railroad Museum titled "Innovation & Impact: Railroads in the Mountain State."


 Photos from Meeting HERE   

Original Item:

Attend our annual Spring Stakeholders Meet, Wednesday, April 30th through Thursday, May 1st, to find out how you can become a part of this regional asset. Come for the entire two-day meet, or come when you can. Just don't miss the Stakeholders Meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday! The original announcement is HERE the updated details are HERE, and a final press release can be found HERE. (PDF's)

     Your RSVP is requested to help with our planning. Please let us know which tours you plan to attend on Wednesday, and/or if you plan on attending the meeting on Thursday. Send your RSVP to or call 304-636-6182.

AmeriCorps Applications for 2014-2015 Term: Starting in May

Starting May 1st, interested persons can apply to participate in the AmeriCorps program. For general information about AFHA and AmeriCorps, see HERE.

More specifically, the following opportunites will be available for the next service cycle:

+ AFHA AmeriCorps is currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members for the 2014-15 service term, which will begin September 8, 2014 for a one-year commitment. Applicants should have a degree or experience relevant to conservation, heritage/culture/museums/community development, or historic preservation. For more information and applications instructions, see:

+ AFHA AmeriCorps is currently taking applications for site sub-sponsors for the next AmeriCorps term to start in September. Members will serve with sub-sponsor sites accomplishing heritage, historic preservation or conservation projects that would not happen without their assistance. Sites are responsible for supervision and cash match. Applications taken until May 15 or until all slots are filled. Email: for site sponsorship details and application.

+ AFHA is taking applications for part-time program associate to help manage the AFHA AmeriCorps program for next term. Past experience with AFHA AmeriCorps or familiarity with AmeriCorps programs, and experience with at least one of our program areas, is preferred. Applications taken until June 1 or until position is filled. Email: for position details.


Fall 2013

AFHA Bill Introduced in Senate!

Senate Bill 1641 “West Virginia National Heritage Area Act of 2013” has been introduced in November 2013 by Senators Rockefeller, Manchin, Cardin, and Mikulski. This bill will designate the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area and extend the funding eligibility for the existing National Coal Heritage Area and Wheeling National Heritage Area. This is a huge step towards our goal of National Heritage Area designation for AFHA! For more information, to read the text of the measure, and to track the proress of the Bill in Congress, see HERE.

AFHA Exhibit Installed

The new AFHA exhibit, Discovering the Appalachian Forest has been completed and installed in the Darden Mill, in Elkins. Open this fall for special events, including the open house November 8th from 4 to 6 pm and November 9th from 10 am to 6 pm, the exhibit tells how the forest has affected people and how people have affected the forest, both historically and today. The exhibit was funded in part by the WV Humanities Council, and will open for regular hours in the spring of 2014 in conjunction with the WV Railroad Museum.  See more HERE.

Tucker the Turtle Invasive Species Book

The Pests that Girdle the Home of Tucker the Turtle is an exciting new children’s book about non-native invasive species. Sponsored by the Potomac Highlands Weed and Pest Management Area and Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, the book features original illustrations by AFHA AmeriCorps member Molly Swailes. Attend Tucker’s Big Bash, book launch and art auction, on Saturday Nov 9 from 4 to 6 pm. The event is free admission and includes crafts and kids activities, snacks, book readings, live music by the Elm Street Alleycats, and an art auction of the original paintings for the book. Books will be available for purchase at the event, or afterwards through AFHA. Book proceeds will go towards non-native species educational outreach. Details can be seen HERE.

Spring 2013

The time has come again! Members for the 2013-2014 AmeriCorps program are being sought now. See HERE for detailed information on how you can apply.

US Route 219 is a highway that runs north to south right through the heart of AFHA country. A new project, "Travelling 219" gathers the history and stories along this road to preserve and present them for everyone. See more at their website:

Winter 2013

AFHA Stakeholder Meeting Coming Up!

AFHA Stakeholder meeting will be held in Richwood, Nicholas County on April 12. Come learn what AFHA has been doing, participate in discussions to help shape AFHA future, and explore historic Richwood. Please plan to attend! Details: HERE  Email Bulletin: HERE

Check Out AFHA's New Monthly Newsletters...

Click on link above or on AFHA E-Newsletter for current and past issues. And sign up for email delivery of future issues by emailing a request to:

Summer 2012

AFHA Volunteer Picnic Friday, August 17

Join us to recognize AFHA volunteers and AmeriCorps members at our
annual volunteer picnic, Friday August 17 at Scott Hill Occasions in
Elkins. The agenda will include:

9:30 am Project presentations by AFHA AmeriCorps members
12:00 noon AFHA Board meeting
1:00 pm Potluck picnic
2:00 pm Recognition ceremony

Please rsvp to if you plan to attend,
so we know how many to plan for.
For directions see

Spring 2012

2012 Spring Stakeholders Meeting will be held in Thomas, Tucker
County on May 17. All are welcome! For information see page 3 of our
mmost recent newsletter.

AFHA Is Now Recruiting for the new AmeriCorps term starting September
2012. For information click HERE.

Fall 2011 - Tree Planting Effort


Together with Plum Creek Timber, AFHA will celebrate National Public Lands day by planting native red spruce in the Monongahela National Forest. Volunteers will meet on September 24th at Mine Road near Slatyfork, WV at 9am, or may carpool from Elkins City Hall at 7am.

Spring Stakeholders Meeting Coming

The 2011 Spring Stakeholders meeting will be a one-day meet in Marlinton, West Virginia. All interested are welcome. It will start at 9:30am on Saturday, April 8 at the McClintic library in Marlinton. For more details about this meeting, see  Page 3 of the newsletter  HERE.

Working on Preservation

 AmeriCorps member Crystal Whiters writes of her time working in the Elkins and Randolph County area in the National Trust for Historic Preservation newsletter HERE.


 Appalachian Forest Heritage Area is pleased to initiate our on-line newsletter bulletins. These periodic news bulletins will be announce to you by email, and always available on our web site We will continue to mail printed newsletters twice a year – these are also available on the web site. To sign up for our email list or our print mailing list, go here.

MARCH 2010

"2010 Garlic Mustard Challenge!"

Garlic Mustard has gained much attention in recent years for its ability to rapidly invade wooded habitats from disturbed areas. The invasive garlic mustard plant threatens the abundant wildflowers and diverse forest ecosystem of West Virginia and much of the United States. Introduced by European settlers for its medicinal purposes and use in cooking, garlic mustard is now affecting not only wildflowers but tree growth and the animals that depend on these native ecosystems.

Last year's event was a huge success, and now the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area and the Monongahela National Forest are teaming up again to challenge you to do your part to keep West Virginia wild and wonderful. Last year we removed of 11,722 pounds of garlic mustard and this year we are increasing our goal to 15,000 pounds!

FOR DATES AND DETAILS, See the AFHA Garlic Mustard Program webpage HERE

Make a Difference Day
Saturday October 24, 2009
Sinkhole cleanup to protect groundwater

For more background on this effort, see the page HERE.

To volunteer for the Pink Helictite Cave sinkhole cleanup, meet at 9 am Saturday, October 24 in the parking lot behind the Monongahela National Forest headquarters at 200 Sycamore St. Elkins, WV, or meet at 9 am at the Marlinton Ranger Station in Marlinton, to carpool to the site. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, and be prepared to get muddy. You might want to bring a change to dry clothes for the drive home. Please bring your own lunch. Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Email to let us know you plan to attend, or for more information, or call Linda Tracy, US Forest Service at work (304) 636 1800, ext 275.

To meet us directly at the site (about 10:30 am expected start time) here are directions to the site:

From Durbin: Take US. 250 north/west from Durbin approximately 6 miles to WV secondary route 250/1. Turn right (north) onto 250/1.

From Huttonsville: Take US 250 south/east across Cheat / Shavers Fork plateau. Going down the mountain about 1 mile east of the Pocahontas-Randolph County line, watch for 250/1 in the middle of a sharp curve. Make a very sharp left (to the north) onto 250/1.

Once on 250/1: Follow this gravel road for about 2 miles as it passes through pastureland then into a wooded area. The sinkhole to be cleaned up is located on the left side of 250/1. There are large limestone rocks placed on the left side of the road at the sinkhole location.

Get Active!
National Public Lands Day Tree Planting Event
Saturday, 26 September 2009

Volunteers are being sought to help plant native red spruce seedlings on the Monongahela National Forest and the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge to help restore a functioning red spruce-northern hardwood forest ecosystem. protect high elevation streams and connect spruce in the higher elevations to the floor of Canaan Valley.

Volunteers should meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 10:00 am, September 26th. Gloves, sturdy shoes or boots, long pants, and appropriate rain gear should be brought by each person, along with food and water. National Public Lands Day 2009 t-shirts will be given to the first 100 volunteers.

Conifer Planting Day

AFHA in the News

AFHA in the News

Recruiting Now for New AmeriCorps positions for Fall 2009

The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) is seeking 17 AmeriCorps members to work on hands-on projects working on conservation, historic preservation and heritage development and tourism projects that enhance assets to benefit communities. AmeriCorps members work full-time, and receive a living allowance plus an educational benefit at the completion of one year.

For background on the AmeriCorps program, see HERE.

For more direct information about these new posititons, see HERE

2009 Spring Stakeholders Meet

Appalachian Forest Heritage Area held a Spring Stakeholders meeting March 26 & 27 at Camp Caesar, near Webster Springs.

See more details about this meet in the PDF of the period AFHA newsletter (Page Three)

We will return to the site of one of our most successful early meetings to celebrate our progress in recent years, and the launching of some exciting new initiatives to engage AFHA volunteers and visitors.

Watch your email, the upcoming newsletter, and our this website for more details in the next couple of weeks.

Here is the short version to get on your calendars now:

Thursday March 26

Friday March 27

Lodging available at Camp Caesar or local motels.

"Make A Difference Day" in AFHA-land...

Make a Difference Day volunteer activity to begin Restoration of Riverside School. Volunteers are invited on Friday October 24 and Saturday October 25, from 9 am to 4 pm, to help rebuild the pediment on the front of the building. This project is hosted by Appalachian Forest Heritage Area AmeriCorps. Pizza will be provided for lunch. To sign up or for information call 304-636-6182 or email

Make a Difference Day volunteer activity to reduce groundwater pollution by Cleaning Up Trash in the Pink Helictite Cave sinkhole outside of Durbin. Volunteers are invited on Saturday October 25, meeting at 8:45 am behind the Monongahela Supervisors Office, 200 Sycamore Street, for carpool. This project is hosted by Appalachian Forest Heritage Area AmeriCorps in partnership with Monongahela National Forest and Mountain State Grotto Caving Club. Bring your own lunch and water, and dress for getting dirty. To sign up or for information call 304-636-6182 or email

Stakeholders Will Meet in Romney — 30 Oct-1 Nov 2008

The focus will be on


For details (including contact and reservation info) go to the PDF HERE or see the latest issue of the AFHA newsletter.

"Walk In The Woods" Program Will Be 18 October 2008

The West Virginia Forest Stewardship Program welcomes guide/expert Richard Grist.

All interested parties are invited!

See various types of forest, wildlife, water, and karst topography management activities.
October 18 from 1pm to 4pm - Lunch provided

For more information, contact Elizabeth Tichner at 304-276-0113

Special Events Slated for Elkins Forest Fest

Learn about forest management and forest products on two special Forest Festival tours organized by Appalachian Forest Heritage Area.

Explore sustainable forest management practices on a tour of the Penn Virginia demonstration forest Wednesday afternoon. This forest area in Randolph County shows a variety of forest management practices. The tour will be led and hosted by Larry Jackson of Penn Virginia. The tour will meet at 1:00 pm, Wednesday October 1 at Tygart Valley Mall parking lot to carpool to the forest.

Forest Tour group

On Thursday morning, tour the Hamer Pellet Fuel plant in Elkins to see the manufacture of a renewable, clean-burning and cost effective home heating alternative. Pellet fuel is made from clean sawdust, much of which comes from our lumber operations in the heart of the Appalachian region. Rob Jones, public relations director of J.C. Hamer Company will lead the tour. Park at the West Virginia Wood Technology Center parking lot, #10 Eleventh Street, Elkins (in the Industrial Park) by 10 am, Thursday October 2 to join this tour.

Both tours are free as a part of Appalachian Forest Heritage Area’s commitment to providing public information and increasing understanding about forest management and products.

Grant Awarded for Restoration of the Darden Mill

Darden MIll 

The non-profit group Citizens for Historical Opportunity, Preservation and Education (C-HOPE) -- partner organization of AFHA -- was recently awarded a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant for $99,500, making the complete restoration of the Darden Mill feasible. While private donations for grant match are still needed, Phyllis Baxter, director of AFHA, is relieved “to see the end of the tunnel financially.” With the help of the grant money, the 1902 mill will be adapted for modern use as a museum, an artisan workshop, and the AFHA headquarters over the next two years.

"Woodland Stewards" Workshop Coming Up

The 7th annual West Virginia Woodland Stewards workshop will be held at Camp Caesar (Webster County) on October 9-12, 2008. This workshop is intended to provide broad exposure to educators, forest landowners, and farmers on forest and wildlife management topics. This is an information-packed, three-day training workshop. The first session begins on Thursday evening and the last at noon on Sunday.

Woodland Stewards Field Trip

Room, meals, and educational materials are free to participants. The workshop is funded by the WV Division of Forestry to promote forestry education and wise use of forest resources on private lands. There have been over 120 people trained in the previous six workshops.

Thursday evening participants will hear about the history of West Virginia forests. Early morning sessions give an introduction and practice in tree identification. After a hearty breakfast, participants listen to lectures on forest ecology, game management, nongame wildlife, best management practices, urban wildlife, ruffed grouse management, silviculture, and developing a stewardship plan.

After lunch the workshop moves to the forest, where they see examples of forestry and wildlife management on National Forestlands and learn how to measure trees and make decisions for forests based on specific landowner objectives. After dinner presentations feature a not-to-be-missed reptile event on one evening and an informative lecture on timber contracts the next evening.

Lecturers are professional managers, scientists, and practitioners from the West Virginia University Extension Service and Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia Division of Forestry, WV Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, the West Virginia Forestry Association, and the USDA Forest Service.

The workshop is open to everyone. If you are interested in participating in this year’s WV Woodland Stewards workshop, please contact Dr. Dave McGill (304-293-2941 x 2474) for more information.

JOBS FILLED (Was: "Part-time Positions Available")

AFHA needs part-time assistance in administering the organization and supervising our AmeriCorps team. This could be one person with multiple tasks, or the tasks could be divided between two or three people. Tasks include:

Positions are based in Elkins, and can be arranged on either employee or contract basis. Budget is limited with no benefits, but working conditions can be flexible to suit your situation. Pay, hours and responsibilities will be negotiated based on experience, needs, and budget.

To apply please send (email preferred) cover letter and resume to or mail to AFHA, PO Box 1206, Elkins WV 26241. Applications requested by August 20 but will be accepted until positions are filled. For questions or more information call Phyllis Baxter at 636-6182 (o) or 636-2467 (h).

Heritage Tourism Development: Workshop and Discussion

Thursday, July 31, 2008
1 pm to 4 pm
 Adaland Mansion, north of Philippi
see for directions

Come learn how to attract heritage tourists to your business or attraction and what you can do to appeal to this lucrative tourism market. Discussion will focus on Barbour and surrounding counties with information and networking of value to the whole area.  Workshop presenters:  
Dr. Susan Martin-Williams            
Asst. Professor of Tourism            
Concord University     
Phyllis Baxter
Executive Director
Appalachian Forest Heritage Area

·        Who are heritage tourists? 
·        How do we attract them and give a quality experience?
·        How do we encourage them to stay, spend money, and come back again?
·        What is our area doing now for heritage tourists and what can we do better?
·        How does the “Forest Heritage” theme attract both heritage and nature tourism?

Reserve your spot:
Call:  304-457-2415   

Sponsored by Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
Hosted by Adaland

Fernow Experimental Forest Tour

Join AFHA for a special guided tour of the Fernow Experimental Forest, Friday August 1 from 10 am to about 1 pm. Led by Fernow research forester Tom Shuler, the tour will feature many of the varied study areas in the forest.

We will meet at 10 am at the Fernow Headquarters at the Cheat Ranger Station at Parsons, WV. Directions: From Parsons, take US Rt 219 north. Travel over the Black Fork River Bridge and take the next right immediately past the bridge.

Please RSVP to, 304-636-6182, so we know who to expect. 

For info about the Fernow, see:

Heritage Tourism Workshop Coming Up

At 10:30am on Tuesday June 10, at the Workforce Office in Webster Springs, a Heritage Tourism Workshop will discuss how to attract heritage tourists to your business or community. Dr. Susan Martin-Williams, Professor of Tourism, Concord University will be the primary presenter.

For more information, see flyer (in PDF format) HERE or the original press release (Word DOC) HERE

Spring Stakeholders Meeting

TThe Spring Stakeholders Meeting for 2008 took place in Braxton County in early May. For details about this meeting, see the pre-event publicity in the form of a PDF file HERE.

New AmeriCorps jobs open for FALL 2008

The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) is seeking 10 AmeriCorps members to work on hands-on projects that enhance community, natural, and historic assets to benefit communities by developing heritage tourism. AmeriCorps members work full-time, and receive a living allowance plus an educational benefit at the completion of one year.

For more information, see the PDF file HERE

Organizations seeking AmeriCorps members to help, see: HERE

WVU Extension sponsors wood energy seminars

Heating costs are a growing problem in West Virginia and the intense global demand for energy is constantly in the news. To ameliorate heating cost and to help shift to renewable energy resources, some homeowners, farmers, and small business owners are shifting to wood as an alternative or supplemental energy source.

To highlight some of the opportunities for using wood for small-scale heating, West Virginia University Extension Service is hosting wood energy seminars to provide information about this renewable heating source.

The workshops will be held:

Each workshop will start at 6:30 pm with a lecture by Dr. Dave McGill, WVU Forest Resources Extension Specialist who will discuss sustainable aspects of wood energy, wood production and structure, heat content of various tree species, and economics of wood energy.

Mr. Bill Biller, a local wood stove distributor, will demonstrate an outdoor wood burning stove and will talk about practical issues related to using wood as an energy source to heat small buildings and homes.

The workshops are part of a project coordinated by the WVU Biomaterials and Wood Utilization Center in the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources. Supported by a grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture, Research, and Education program, the project promotes the advantages of and opportunities for using wood as a renewable energy source.

Light refreshments will be served at the workshops. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Fall 2007

Fall Stakeholders Meeting

A post-meeting report: see how things went HERE

Help reports in -

AmeriCorps Positions Hired For Appalachian Forest Heritage Area

New Workers will help to grow AFHA.

Please Help:
Support Letters Needed Now:

AFHA needs YOUR help with NEW support letters. We need letters showing that our partners will help provide resources to match Federal funds if we are successful in getting National Heritage Area status. We also need letters to our Senators and Representatives letting them know we believe AFHA is important and asking for their support.

For more information on writing letters, click HERE
For Congressional contact list, click HERE

Stakeholders Have Met

Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
Spring Stakeholders Meeting
April 26 - 27, 2007
Pendleton County, West Virginia

(Please RSVP if you plan to attend – see below.)

Thursday April 26th (start at the Pendleton Co. Chamber Office)
1:00 PM      Meet at Pendleton County Chamber Office
1:30 PM      Woodline Factory Tour
3:00 PM      Carpool to Kaiser Mill at Sugar Grove.
6:30 PM      Board dinner and meeting

Friday April 27th  (held at the Highlands Golf Course)
9:30 AM     Introductions and Updates
10:00 AM   Program – non-timber forest products featuring mushroom production by Paul Goland
12:00 PM    Luncheon (approx $10 each)
1:00 PM      Interest Group Meetings
2:30 PM      Council Meeting
Tour Activities:
Meet for Thursday afternoon tour at 1:00 pm at the Pendleton County Chamber Office, corner of Rt 33 and Rt 220 in Franklin. It is on the right hand side of Main Street, at stop light. We will carpool from here. Anyone who might want to join the tour at a later stop, please RSVP and we will get you directions and rendezvous information.

Woodline Factory Tour – Woodline manufactures unfinished furniture, shelves, and other small furniture items for major companies. Kaiser Mill at Sugar Grove is an outstanding example of a nineteenth century historic water mill. The company closed in 1968, complete with machinery and office intact. This is a rare opportunity to visit a well-preserved, privately-owned site.

Board Meeting: The AFHA Board will meet over dinner Thursday evening at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Brandywine. We will start approximately 6:30, depending on the length of the tour. Other AFHA stake-holders are welcome to have dinner here at a different table, or at other restaurants in the area.

Friday Stakeholders and Council Meeting at Highlands Golf Club, between Franklin and Brandywine. The entrance to the Highlands Golf Club is located on the east side of Troublesome Valley Road, 1-2 miles north of the intersection with US Rt. 33, five miles east of Franklin, West Virginia. Phone 304-358-2261.

Lone Pine Lodging on US 33 in Brandywine, $60 for 2 or 3 bedroom furnished house 304-249-5700
Star Hotel in Franklin, 1 bed $65, 2 bed $75, 304-358-3580
Franklin Inn, 1 bed $40, 2 beds $45; 304-358-2118

RSVP: If you are planning to attend any portion of the meeting, please RSVP so that we will have count for meals and tours, and can send you updates of any last minute information. We need to give a lunch count by 4/20, so please try to RSVP by that date. You are still welcome even without RSVP, but you’ll take your chances on enough food. Council and Board members please confirm your attendance or send proxy for our quorum count.
Send RSVP by email to or call 636-6182.

More About the Area:

New Film Deals With First Highway

The Historic National Road in West Virginia' is a 30-minute documentary on the history and evolution of the nation's first interstate highway, which features commentary from 'Road Scholars': Dr. Emory Kemp, Dr. Billy Joe Peyton, Dr. David Javersak, and PhD. Candidate Dan Bonenberger.

'The Historic National Road was the nation's first federally funded interstate highway. It opened the nation to the west and became a corridor for the movement of goods and people. Today, visitors experience a physical timeline of buildings and landscapes that trace 200 years of American history.

The Road is the result of inspired vision of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Gallatin. True to the original intent of its builders, the Road has served the nation well as our first interstate highway and continues to be a major link in our transportation network.

Winding across the heartland of America, it still beckons to the spirit of adventure in all of us.'

The documentary was produced by The Walkabout Company with partial funding provided by the Wheeling National Heritage Area.

Forest Legacy Program To Preserve Area Forests:

Applications Sought for Forest Legacy Program

(PLEASE NOTE: Program Deadline has passed - Was 28 February 2007)

Division of Forestry officials are seeking applications for the Forest Legacy Program, a federal initiative to conserve environmentally important forest areas threatened by conversion to non-forest uses.

Landowners interested in applying for this program may do so through Feb. 28. Applicants may get more information about the program by visiting the Division of Forestry's Web site at or by calling Assistant State Forester John Rowe at (304) 558-2788.

"The Forest Legacy Program is an excellent way to conserve our forests for future generations and to keep West Virginia wild and wonderful," said Director/State Forester Randy Dye. "I encourage any landowner who feels pressure to sell his or her forestland to contact the Division of Forestry immediately to find out more about this program."

The Forest Legacy Program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1990 to conserve the nation's forestland from threats by development or conversion to other non-forest uses. Landowners who participate in the program sign a conservation easement, a legal agreement that allows the owner to sell or donate rights to future development or other land-use activities in exchange for keeping the land as a "working forest" to produce forest products for perpetuity.

The Forest Legacy Program is a 75 percent to 25 percent cost-share program: 75 percent of funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service while the landowner or other private sources are responsible for the remaining 25 percent.

For more information about the Forest Legacy Program or to obtain an application packet, call Rowe at 558-2788.

Wildflower Walk Explores May Flowers

The AFHA Randolph County committee sponsored a...

Wildflower Walk and Picnic Lunch
Which had a good turnout on
Sunday, 7 May 2006 at Stuart Recreation Area (East of Elkins) 

  flowers more flowers other flowers

The walk was guided by Elizabeth Byers, who has degrees in geology and hydrology, and likes to explore the relationships between native plants and their environments.  Prior to joining the Natural Heritage Program, Elizabeth was a senior program officer with The Mountain Institute, an international conservation organization.  She has lived and worked in the Himalayas, East African rift, Alps, Andes, and Appalachian mountains. Elizabeth is currently completing a two-year conservation assessment of high elevation wetlands in the Allegheny Mountain region of the state.  She is a frequent contributor of wildflower photographs to West Virginia Wildlife magazine, and a regular leader at the annual Blackwater Falls Wildflower Pilgrimage.  

AFHA Accepted: We're Official

We're Official!! Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, Inc. has just received approval from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This allows us to receive tax-deductible donations to support our work, and to apply directly for grants. -- 12 April 2006

Appalachian Forest Heritage Area Stakeholders Meeting

7 April 2006 Berkeley Springs


Questions or comments about site: