PCHS Forestry Class Makes Timber Cruise Results Presentation to the Board of Education

At their April 9th meeting, Pocahontas County Board of Education received a presentation from Mr. Scott Garber’s Forestry Class at Pocahontas County High School. The Forestry Class has recently completed a professional grade timber cruise of property owned by the Board of Education in Green Bank. The timber cruise was conducted by three student groups. Each of these groups composed of three students. Each group presented their results to the Board Members.

The cruise reports examined the forested sections of land and presented their determinations on factors which included the volume of both saw mill quality wood and pulp wood as well as the average age of the trees – The pines were estimated to be 30 to 50 years old with diameters ranging from 5 to 11 inches. The hardwoods were about 20 years older than the pines on average. The groups also looked at other factors such as insect threats and arbor vascular diseases present on the sites; the types of trees; and the economic value of the timber. Each group also developed forest management plans for the sites, which included thinning out the trees to allow for increased growth of the better trees and improvement to the wildlife habitat. Several of the groups noted that they found evidence of unauthorized hunting and fishing on the sites. The presentations were very well delivered and according to Teacher Scott Garber, similar to professional timber cruise evaluation reports a professional Forester would present to a client landowner looking to sell their timber or develop a management plan for their woodlot. The Board members were clearly impressed by the reports.

Randy Irvine, the PCHS head Baseball Coach made a delegation statement to the Board in support of their consider approving Thomas C. Moats as a volunteer Baseball coach at the High School. That appointment was approved following a three to two vote later in the meeting.

Mr. Beam announced the Young Writers Contest winners who were:

Eli Beazley, Molly Cook and Kailey Pritt from Hillsboro Elementary School; Ireland Withers, Gavin Jordan and Kirsten Friel from Marlinton Elementary School; Gavin Walls and Haley Smith-Hayhurst from Marlinton Middle School; Nadia Elizabeth Kerr, Claire Buzzard, Maddie Ray and Sierra Cassell from Green Bank Elementary-Middle School; and Kira Bircher from PCHS. Beam added that the County winners were: Claire Buzzard; Claire Buzzard; Gavin Walls; Sierra Cassell; and Kira Bircher.

Mr. Beam also brought up that he has been dissatisfied with the progress being made on the current SBA funded Major Improvement P:roject at PCHS, and he has let the Architectural Firm handling the project know about his dissatisfactions. Beam also asked the Board for direction on how to proceed with the move from the old Board Office to the new Board Office. There was discussion about what to do about the non-profit organizations using parts of the old Board Office, such as the Boy Scouts and the Art Guild. It was brought up that the Art Guild is planning to move out of the building anyway and the Scouts could possible work out an agreement with Parks and Recreation to meet at the Wellness Center. Ruth Bland pointed out that if the old Board Office Building were to be removed, the current dangerous situation involving loading and unloading kids from school buses on the street in front of Marlinton Elementary School could be eliminated by creating a new safe bus pick-up and discharge circle on the property where the Board Office is now located.

During the Matters of the Board section of the meeting, Board Member Joe Walker pointed out that fixing the alarms and providing security at Marlinton Elementary and at the Green Bank School should be a top priority since student safety is top priority. He said that a decision on those issues at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School could wait until it is learned if the SBA will grant the applied for  Major Improvement Project for that school which would correct those problems, but those safety issues have to be addressed at Marlinton Elementary School immediately by the Board since the SBA will not pay for any improvements to that school because it is in a flood plain. Walker said student safety demands that Marlinton Elementary School needs to be made safe even if the Board has to take out a bank loan to pay for it.

A copy of the meeting agenda and the approved personnel agenda can be found with this story at the link below:

4-9-18 BOE Actual Agenda

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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