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A Conservationist's Ultimate Honor

January 2, 2012 - Jodi Burnsworth
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Located in southern Pocahontas County is West Virginia’s youngest state forest. The Calvin Price State Forest is one of nine state forests and covers 10,800 acres on the Greenbrier River’s east side.

The forest was logged of its virgin timber between 1880 and 1920, which was a prevalent period in the timber industry. White pine was first cut and floated to a mill in Ronceverte prior to 1900. In the early 1900s, a large tract of timber was harvested by the Maryland Lumber Company. After the land was sold by the company in 1922, it was divided into two sections and resold. The section north of Laurel Run became part of Watoga State Park. The southern section was purchased by the New River Company and sold to the state in 1953.

It was on May 15, 1954 that this southern tract was dedicated as Calvin Price State Forest, named in honor of one of Pocahontas County’s best-known residents, Calvin W. Price (shown at right). Price was the longtime owner and editor of the Pocahontas Times in Marlinton. He was best remembered as a country editor, writing in his newspaper often and knowledgeably about conservation, his reputation as a naturalist arising from his famous “Field Notes” column, and his stories of bear and panther. At the dedication ceremony, he said he was “sinfully proud” of the honor.

As with most of our state forests, Calvin Price State Forest is operated under a multiple-use concept. This includes timber production, watershed management, wildlife management, aesthetics, and recreation. State forests are important for forestry research and for demonstrating forest management practices.

Historically, the state forests of West Virginia were managed entirely by the West Virginia Division of Forestry, but in January 1978, their administration was transferred to the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Section. The two agencies continue to have a concurrent jurisdiction over state forests and work closely through a memorandum of understanding that was prepared that same year.

Calvin Price State Forest is immediately adjacent to Watoga State Park and most easily accessible via Pocahontas County Road 21 (Beaver Creek Road) from Huntersville.

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