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Federal budget cuts could affect conservation group

February 14, 2005|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The coordinator for the Potomac Headwater Resource Conservation and Development told the Morgan County Commission last Thursday that the federally funded program is being cut by 50 percent in the budget President Bush submitted to Congress last week.

Roger Boyer said the cut will eliminate 189 RC&D offices that are 20 years old or older. Boyer said if the cut is approved, the Morgan County RC&D office will be closed and the federally funded coordinator position will be eliminated.

Boyer said Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties are served by Potomac Headwaters RC&D.

Its completed projects include American Discovery Trail kiosk establishment (Paw Paw, W.Va.), Growing New Farmers in the Eastern Panhandle, Potomac River Tributary Strategy for West Virginia, Growing Agribusiness in the Eastern Panhandle, the Eastern Panhandle Rural Tourism Partnership and the Eastern Panhandle Karst Workshop.

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Several projects are planned for this year, including the construction of the Warm Springs Middle School trail, the Paw Paw City Park Trail, Paw Paw Municipal Park ballfield surface water management, Morgan County Ecology Coalition and the Purple Loosestrife Control Program Plan.

Boyer said the office's small watershed program will be eliminated.

Commissioner Bob Ford said "a lot of environmental cuts are in the budget as I understand it."

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