A nonprofit has bought nearly 19,000 acres of forest land in seven West Virginia counties aimed at increasing public access for hunting and wildlife-associated recreation.
The Arlington, Virginia-based Conservation Fund announced the land purchase Thursday, Dec. 20.
A statement by the organization says the land was bought at the request of the state Division of Natural Resources and will eventually be transferred to the state as funding becomes available. The plan is to create five new wildlife management areas and expand four others along with North Bend State Park.
The land is in Calhoun, Doddridge, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Wirt and Wood counties. The land features habitat for a variety of endangered and threatened bird, bat and mussel species.
The DNR also recently acquired 12,440 acres in four counties for preservation efforts.