National Wildlife Refuge
|6263 Appalachian Highway
Davis, WV 26260
Phone Number: 304-866-3858
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Canaan Valley, at an altitude of 3,200 feet, is 14 miles long and 3 miles wide, and the highest valley of its size east of the Rocky Mountains. Climate and habitats are typical of areas much further north, and the plants and animals are unusual for the latitude. Many Valley species are at or near the southernmost edge of their ranges. Drained by the Blackwater River and its tributaries, Canaan Valley contains the largest freshwater wetland area in West Virginia and the central and southern Appalachians.
Canaan Valley NWR is located in Tucker County, West Virginia. The refuge was established in 1994 to preserve the unique wetlands and uplands of this high elevation, moist valley. Currently, the refuge consists of 15,245 acres. An additional 10, 214 acres are within its acquisition boundary. The acquisition boundary encompasses most of the wetlands and unique habitats of the valley. Acquisition will continue, dependent on willing sellers and availability of funds.
Getting There . . .
The refuge office and visitor center is located on highway 32, 9 miles north of Harman and six miles south of Davis, West Virginia. Refuge access points are found on Freeland Road, Cortland Road, Old Timberline Road, Camp 70 Road and A-frame Road.
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Major biological surveys are being conducted to gather baseline information to support the development of the Comprehensive Conservation Plan. These surveys include: anuran call counts, woodcock/snipe singing ground surveys, amphibian egg mass surveys, streamside salamander surveys, breeding land bird surveys, grassland bird breeding and productivity surveys, marsh bird surveys, waterbird surveys of open water habitat, Cheat Mountain salamander population and habitat surveys, West Virginia northern flying squirrel surveys, and trail monitoring and impact analysis.
The refuge currently manages grasslands for grassland nesting bird species. Management of these areas has included cooperative haying, mowing, prescribed fire, and tree row removal. The refuge has just completed the station's first fire management plan. Prescribed fire is currently being evaluated for it's effectiveness in managing grassland habitat.
Hunting is being evaluated as a management tool used on the refuge. Hunting of white-tailed deer helps to prevent over browsing of sensitive plant communities such as the balsam fir, and prevents overpopulation.
Law Enforcement is also an important management tool used on the refuge. Protecting the wetlands from excessive non-compatible uses is an important management concern.