World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Tucker
Elevation 3,284 ft (1,001 m) [1]
Coordinates  [1]
Area 16,628 acres (6,729 ha) [2]
 - Authorized size 25,459 acres (10,303 ha)
Established July 11, 1994 [3]:Sum-1
Owner U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
IUCN category VI - Managed Resource Protected Area
Nearest city Davis, West Virginia
Location of Canaan Valley NWR in West Virginia

The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge (CVNWR) in Tucker County, West Virginia, was the 500th National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to be established in the United States. The refuge preserves a moist valley with unique wetlands and uplands at a relatively high elevation in the Allegheny Mountains. It is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).


  • History 1
  • Wildlife 2
  • Recreation and access 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
    • Citations 5.1
    • Other sources 5.2
  • External links 6


Advocacy for the establishment of a wildlife refuge in Canaan Valley began as early as 1961. In the 1970s, environmental and citizens' groups battled with Allegheny Power Systems (APS), which had owned more than 13,000 acres (53 km2) of Canaan Valley since 1923, over construction of a long-anticipated hydroelectric facility that would have flooded about a quarter of the valley. In 1977, the Federal Power Commission issued a license to APS for construction of a pumped storage hydroelectric project, formally known as the Davis Power Project. However, the following year the Project was denied a Clean Water Act permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps' decision cited adverse impacts upon the Valley's wetlands, a relatively new concept at the time.[4]

Canaan Valley NWR was initially approved following an Environmental Impact Statement on May 30, 1979.[3]:Sum-1 APS appealed the Corps' decision all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1988 declined to hear the case, thus clearing the way for creation of the refuge. About 86 acres (350,000 m2) were purchased in the valley to establish the refuge on July 11, 1994.[3]:Sum-1[5] Another 12,000 acres (48 km²) were purchased from APS in 2002. With other additions, most recently 120 acres in 2008 and 325 acres (1 km2) in 2011,[6] the refuge now encompasses some 16,628 acres (67 km2) of a total authorized size of 25,459 acres (103 km2).[2][5] This represents almost 70% of the valley's 25,000 acres (100 km2).


Several habitat types can be found in the wet soils of the forests, shrublands and open spaces in the refuge. White-tailed deer, raccoons, geese, and squirrels are common, and mink, bobcats, black bears, and barred owls can be seen. Beaver dams affect local water levels. Gamebird species include wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, and woodcocks. The area is also an important habitat for many declining North American bird species, including the bobolink, clay-colored sparrow, Henslow's sparrow, northern saw-whet owl, and cerulean warbler. The fish fauna includes native brook trout and introduced species of trout and bass.

Recreation and access

Facilitated refuge activities include wildlife observation and photography, hunting, fishing, hiking, environmental education, and nature programs.

The refuge maintains 31 miles (50 km) of designated trails, including:

  • 31 miles (50 km) for pedestrian use
  • 23 miles (37 km) for bicycle use
  • 22 miles (35 km) for horseback use

The refuge also maintains 7 miles (11 km) of roads for licenced vehicles to provide public access.

See also



  1. ^ a b "Canaan Valley National Widlife Refuge".  
  2. ^ a b Steelhammer, R. (June 2, 2010). "New plan considered for Canaan Valley refuge". Charleston Gazette. Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge: Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Environmental Assessment: Executive Summary" (PDF).  
  4. ^ Michael, E. D. (2002). A Valley Called Canaan: 1885-2002. Parsons, West Virginia: McClain Printing Company. pp 220-22.
  5. ^ a b Steelhammer, R. (1999-02-21). "Land of promise: Wildlife refuge putting a protective embrace around Canaan habitat". Sunday Gazette-Mail ( 
  6. ^ The Highlands Voice (Nov 2011), "West Virginia's 'Land of Canaan' Expands Protection"; Vol 44, No. 11, pg.

Other sources

  • Freshwater Institute and West Virginia Audubon Council (n.d. [but 1980s]), The Canaan Valley: A National Treasure, 12 minute educational film. (This film was produced to promote the Refuge prior to its establishment and is still shown in modified form.)

External links

  • Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
  • Canaan Valley at American Byways
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.