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KEC Hosts Second Lecture on Mon Forest

Date: February 9, 2024

Contact: Nanci Bross-Fregonara, Communications Director, Kump Education Center


ELKINS-The Kump Education Center, Elkins, is hosting the second Woodlands Heritage Lecture “Nature’s New Deal: The Monongahela National Forest and the New Deal” Wednesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. with Robert C. Whetsell, Archeologist, U.S. Forest Service in the historic Kump House. This lecture is part of a series of monthly lectures supported by a grant from the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area and complements the current Wild, Wonderful Woods interpretive display at the Kump House.

Whetsell will discuss how the New Deal aided the development of the Monongahela National Forest during one of the darkest economic periods in American history and its lasting legacy.

“Although established in April 1920, the Monongahela National Forest grew to become the national forest it is today because of the New Deal,” Whetsell explains.

“Funding and manpower provided by New Deal programs of the Roosevelt Administration between 1933 and 1942, led to forest-wide conservation and fire control efforts, development of modern recreation areas, improvement of roads and communication across the forest, and the expansion of the forest though land acquisition,” he said.

The Woodlands Heritage Lecture Series focuses on the importance of the Appalachian Highlands forests, from the centuries-old bison trails to how it affects current and future West Virginia preservation and economic initiatives.

Additional lectures in the series include: “Nature and the Economy in Appalachia” Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. with Eriks Brolis, Director of Economic Development & Strategic Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia; and “From Coal Mine to Forest: The Mower Tract Revival” Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. with Kris Hennig, Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service.


The lectures are free and open to the public. Attendees will also be able to explore the historic Kump House and the Wild, Wonderful Woods exhibits. The Kump House is located at 401 Randolph Ave., Elkins (across from Kroger) with parking access in the rear accessible by Seneca Road.

CUTLINE: The February Woodlands Heritage Lecture Feb. 21 at the Kump Education Center will feature Robert C. Whetsell, Archeologist, U.S. Forest Service speaking on “Nature’s New Deal: Monongahela National Forest and the New Deal.” The lecture will include historic photos such as this postcard view of the Alpena Gap Picnic Area on Shaver’s Mountain between Bowden and Alpena. It was the first of many recreation sites completed by the CCC in the 1930s in the Monongahela National Forest. Photo courtesy USDA/Forest Service.


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