Wood / Forest WV Energy / Natural Resources

“Logging the Forests of West Virginia” – Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

potomac appalach trail

“If you’ve ever backpacked in the West Virginia mountains, there’s one fact that becomes quickly evident. Virtually every hollow, every stream, and every mountain has a railroad grade. In some places, the railroad ties are still on the ground. In others, visitors might run across a rusting washtub in the middle of the woods, or even an occasional railroad spike or rail. Regardless of how far back you go or how deep into the wilderness, the grades are there – mute testament to the energy of man, power of the dollar, and the complete destruction of the West Virginia forest ecosystem.

“. . .The destruction of these once magnificent forests in the 1880’s and stretching over a forty year period was “complete”. Virtually every tree on every mountain was cut down and hauled out by horse, steam rigger, or train. The logging companies that swarmed over the West Virginia mountains removed these trees “with pride”. This was the age of the Industrial Revolution – man’s superiority over nature. The days of the railroad, cattle and timber barons, and industrial giants like J.P. Morgan. ‘Progress was good.’ ‘Nature existed to serve man’s superior intellect and needs. . . “

 Explore information from PATC’s “Logging the Forests of West Virginia” Website to continue reading – includes multiple photographs

Explore “Potomac Appalachian Trail Club” Website

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