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West Virginia Wildlife
Restoring Wetland
Patrick McMurtry Bringing A Wetland Back To Life

October 30, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice

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West Virginia isn't exactly known as a wetland state, but there are a few areas that you could classify that way. There's McClintic, Greenbottom, and this place, Pleasants Creek Wildlife Management Area. Mike Peters is a biologist with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, he explains the history of the area.

"This was originally a wetland until the late 1800's or early 1900's. Somebody came in here, moved the stream, ditched another stream and tiled the rest of the area to drain it. Probably for agricultural reasons, raising livestock or planting fields. This summer we built a 4 acre wetland. It was a mitigation project. We had some money set aside and we picked this location."

The small plot of land is basically surrounded by existing wetlands, so it made sense to restore this back to its original condition.

"In I952 the state got the property, it was just a field. The tiles were already in so we had to dig up the tile and crush it. We then basically made an underwater dam to hold the water." says Peters.

Managing the water levels is important, and there are a couple different ways Mike and his crew can get water from one area to the other. They can release this valve, or move a couple hundred yards away, pop the top off this box and make a couple adjustments.
They also planted a lot of different types of vegetation to feed the wildlife that are already calling this place home, and for future species expected to live or visit the area.

"We manage it for a variety of wildlife, deer, bear, turkey, waterfowl. It's one of our more unique areas we can manage for multiple species like that." says Peters.

And it's working out just fine. Walk around the area and you'll see all kinds of animal sign, and look to the skies and you'll be able to check out all kinds of birds, including blue heron if you're lucky.



LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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