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From the 1930s through the 1950s, the state of West Virginia obtained control of 934 acres at the head of Blackwater Canyon from the power company for the development of Blackwater Falls State Park.
In 1970, when Allegheny Power requested governmental permits for development of a hydroelectric plant, there was much public opposition.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the forests were cut.
With no protective tree cover, the ground became very dry.
Allegheny’s plan involved damming the Blackwater River and flooding approximately 8,000 acres, about 25% of Canaan Valley.
The project was denied a Clean Water Act permit based on the project’s adverse impact upon wetlands, a relatively new concept at the time.
At some point during the week, a local naturalist will talk with us about a topic of local interest Each day will begin with us eating breakfast together and packing our lunches.
At some point during the week, a local naturalist will talk with us about a topic of local interest. We'll meet and get to know each other, eat dinner, and have an orientation.
In 2002, Allegheny -- having kept development of most of Canaan Valley at bay since its 1923 land purchase -- sold most of its property, which was added to the refuge.
Our mostly moderate to moderately difficult hikes will be in scenic natural areas along the Allegheny Front.
The Potomac Highlands are characterized by mountains, plateaus, steep valleys, narrow gorges, and forests.
In the broader valleys and on the more gentle slopes are farms on which grain is grown and cattle and sheep are raised.
To the north is Canaan Valley, a highland valley with extensive wetlands, and Blackwater Canyon, a rugged, heavily wooded, eight-mile-long gorge carved by the Blackwater River.