West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 WV Division of Natural Resources Warns: Don't Feed the Bears!

4/28/2014

 

Black Bear
WVDNR warns against feeding black bears. Fed bears can become a nuisance and may have to be humanely destroyed.
The Division of Natural Resources reminds all West Virginia residents that feeding black bears is a violation of state law as well as a misguided disservice to our state animal, according to Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the DNR Wildlife Resources Section.
           
“It is understandable that some people will illegally set out food so they can get a closer look at this often-secretive animal,” Carpenter said. “However, these actions often lead to the destruction of the bear. Bear movements are tied to food sources. Bears that roam in and around residential areas in search of food are less likely to stay if they do not find anything to eat. The key to avoiding human-bear conflicts is to remove or secure food attractants before a bear finds them.”
           
Capturing and moving bears that have become accustomed to humans is a costly and often ineffective way of addressing the problem, especially when faced with the possibility of merely moving a problem bear from one area to another. That is why wildlife agencies around the country tell people that a “fed bear is a dead bear.”
           
Bear populations have increased in both number and distribution in the past 20 years. Bears are now found in areas where they have been absent for decades and have been reported in all 55 counties. Multiple reports of sows with cubs have been received from the northern and western portions of the state. “There is simply nowhere to move bears that have become a problem,” Carpenter said.
           
Human-bear interactions increase during the spring and summer for several reasons. Natural food sources are at their lowest point when bears leave their dens in the spring. Bears often spend several weeks feeding on green vegetation while continuing to lose weight. High-energy foods such as serviceberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries do not become available until later in the summer. In addition, the bear breeding season, which peaks from late June through July, puts many bears on the move. During the breeding season, males will cover large areas searching for females. This is also the time of year when adult female bears will chase off their yearlings so that they may breed again.
           
Human-related food sources are higher in calories and easier to obtain than natural foods. All bears, but especially yearlings that are on their own for the first time, will take advantage of easy food sources. Bears will continue on their way if they do not find easy food sources.
           
Bears quickly become habituated to handouts in the form of trash, bird seed, pet food and feed placed out for other animals, causing them to lose their fear of humans. These bears resort to raiding garbage, outdoor freezers, storage sheds, vehicles and other structures associated with people. Unfortunately, when these activities are repeated, DNR personnel are forced to humanely destroy the offending animal for safety reasons.
           
“The unintentional feeding of black bears is something that can be prevented,” Carpenter said. “Garbage should be secured in a bear-proof facility and placed out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before. Food scraps that produce large amounts of odor should be sealed in a plastic bag before being placed in the trash. Food scraps should not be placed in a compost pile during the summer months. Residents should remove all outside pet food at night and bird feeders should be taken down, cleaned, and stored until late fall to further discourage bears from feeding around human habitation. If you do not remove food attractants until after a bear has become a nuisance, you may have caused the death of that animal.”
           
Feeding of any wildlife should be avoided for numerous reasons, including, but not limited to, disease transmission, increased predation, habitat destruction around the feeding site, ethical concerns, and the animal’s overall health.
           
“Following these practical and common sense recommendations will reduce human-bear conflicts and assure that more of the state’s animals remain wild,” Carpenter said.

Contact Information

Colin Carpenter
 
DNR.Wildlife@wv.gov