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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Solstice

Summer is here, and along with summer comes warmer temperatures. This can be a problem for climbing, unless you enjoy bathing in your own sweat. Lately, we have been trying to get in night bouldering sessions. The temps can be 20 degrees cooler in the evening, and you can have a great time via lantern and headlamp. Below are pictures from a recent session at Hawks Nest, and a beautiful sunset from atop the bridge buttress.

Dan on "Leaving Las Fayetteville"

(In this photo, Jen Neff)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Water Quality Issues

Lately, I have been focusing a large amount of my time (volunteer time currently) helping out the Plateau Action Network (Fayetteville's local watershed group). We recently had our Watershed-Based Plan approved by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP), which then passes the plan on to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With an approved watershed-based plan we can actively seek out state and federal funding (grant proposals and specific programs) more easily. Currently, I'm working on a 319 (h) grant proposal, which stems from the Non-point Pollution Management segment of the Clean Water Act. We have several water quality issues that occur from Abandoned Mine Drainage, and fecal coliform bacteria from failing septic tanks and agricultural runoff. Below are some pictures from an abandoned mine site, known as the Summerlee site. In the past the area was actively mined and also used as a Gob pile, a place where other mining companies dumped there unused coal by-product (coal slurry and refuse). In 2007, two passive limestone beds were installed to buffer the runoff from the gob pile (Phase 1). Currently, we are seeking funding for Phase 2 (319 (h) proposal), which will be the installation of a bioreactor (roughly 1.3 million dollars).

Passive Limestone Cell

The unpleasant side of abandoned mine drainage.

Monday, June 1, 2009

New House

After moving from Colorado, I have spent the last two months living out of my car, tent camping, and shuffling in between houses. Last night Dan and I finally got to move into the house we have been waiting for! It is located within walking distance of the Fayetteville town park, and we even have a pony (Rebel) that grazes our backyard. We will be having a house warming party soon, and I'm excited to have a place to host visiting family and friends.