Several state parks in southern West Virginia close popular recreation areas

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“When I was a kid, every June as soon as school shut down, we’d head down here,” Nancy Stover said.

For Nancy Stover and her husband, Richie Cantrell, The small area of Indian Mill in the Bluestone Wildlife management area has a big place in their hearts.

“I mean when you come up here it’s not the tourists out of Pennsylvania and Indiana, it’s West Virginians, it’s coal miners, it’s locals, it’s people who come up here and bring their kids to have that same experience,” she said.

According to officials with the West Virginia Department of commerce, areas of bluestone, Berwind lake in McDowell county, and plum orchard wildlife management area in fayette county are the three areas here in Southern West Virginia that will closer. Stover says these cuts are going to hurt the experience in a big way.

“When they take this away, you’re going to lose that, you’re going to lose a piece of West Virginia that should be for West Virginians,” Stover said.

The reason, these areas are closing is a lack of funds, especially at Bluestone. Officials say the park last year only made around 35-thousand dollars, while operating costs greatly exceeded that.
Richie Cantrell, stover’s husband, says this hurts the chance for tourism to come in.

“We need to look at people that are tourists and people who have lived here and our forms of recreation and not take those away,” Cantrell said.

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