Bob FalaOutdoors Columnist
June 9, 2013
The highly active Buffalo Creek Watershed Association has been granted the top award for their massive environmental improvements along the creek, as they say.
West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman, fresh off a tour of the area and stream restoration dedication ceremony a few weeks back, recently bestowed the plaque to the local group board members at a ceremony held in the capitol city.
Receiving the Cabinet Secretary’s award on behalf of the well known Logan County waterway were Eddie Adkins, Perry Harvey, Johnny Doss and Arthur Brunty.
Articles here there and yonder in the recent past have highlighted the efforts of the group from the pages of Wonderful West Virginia magazine to those of the homegrown Logan Banner, which has been around since well before the Hatfield-McCoy feuding days.
Without further ado, here are the Cabinet Secretary’s words from the presentation event. They speak for themselves. Or better yet, they speak for all those that in some way are making a major difference and continue to do so along the creek.
“Logan County’s Buffalo Creek Watershed Association is a model example of how concerted grass-roots efforts by dedicated West Virginians can make a difference in the state. Not yet 10 years old, the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association has already helped transform Buffalo Creek from a litter-infested creek with virtually no fish habitat into an inviting stream with improved water quality and plenty of trout fishing opportunities for area anglers.
The local watershed association has worked extensively with state agencies, local business and concerned citizens to bring Buffalo Creek back to life and increase recreational opportunities on the 16-mile Logan County stream that empties into the Guyandotte River at Man. From cleanup projects along the creek, to the annual Youth Fishing Day, which attracts hundreds of youngsters for an afternoon of fun on the water, the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association continues to serve as a catalyst for the preservation of Buffalo Creek.
The watershed association’s efforts have helped secure funding for the installation of more than 150 rock and log restoration structures on the stream. The structures not only help create riffles and pools for a more natural fish habitat, but also help improve water quality by flushing sediment from Buffalo Creek, still recovering from the effects of pre-law mining and to a certain extent, the 1972 Buffalo Creek dam disaster that claimed the lives of 125 people and left thousands homeless. One of the Association’s founding members, Perry Harvey, fished for trout on Buffalo Creek the day before a coal slurry dam failed, sending 132 million gallons of water raging through the hollow.
Continued goals of the watershed association include to educate school children about litter control on Buffalo Creek; get more local communities involved in cleanup projects; construct more access points and handicap platforms on the stream; secure funding for additional restoration structures on the creek; and to make Buffalo Creek the best trout stream in southern West Virginia.”