Is this PVCD supervisor trying to tell landowners and homeowners something?

PVCD supervisor Paul Clayton is pictured along with with PVCD vice chairman Don Biller in the background. 
Dec. 3, 2008 - Moorefield, WV - During the monthly Potomac Valley Conservation District supervisor meeting, it appears the board is trying to send a message to the camera man who may lose his home and land if the Lower Cove Run dam is built. Upon advisement from attorney Howard Krauskopf, supervisor Jim Martin (representing Hardy County) made a motion to condemn the homes and lands of those who do not want to sell out.  Jim Martin stated that 30 days was long enough for the landowners to accept the offers they were made.


For more pictures from PVCD meetings, click here.

Local Attorney Seems to Poke Fun at Concerned Citizens

[From left to right:  Louis Aspey-Asst. State Conservationist and Howard Krauskopf-PVCD Attorney]

Photo Courtesy of
Oct. 3, 2007 Moorefield, WV - Howard Krauskopf, local attorney for Potamac Valley Conservation District and son-in-law of PVCD supervisor Don Biller, must find eminent domain amusing.  At the monthly Potomac Valley Conservation District meeting, Mr. Krauskopf seems to poke fun at those who would lose their homes and land to the Lower Cove dam project. 

As the board members and NRCS agents were leaving the room for an executive session, Mr. Krauskopf paused to smile into the camera of a landowner who would lose his land and home.  The impression given by Mr. Krauskopf was, "Howdy neighbor, we are going to take your land, and there is nothing you can do about it."

Homeowners and landowners attended the meeting to observe activities by the board pertaining to Lower Cove Dam Site #16, which was on the agenda.  


Did you know that the very dams the Potomac Valley Conservation District and NRCS are pushing for as a way to prevent loss of life in flooding are considered HIGH HAZARD dams??  Meaning if they are breached or burst, they can can cause loss of life to people downstream.

"Five (5) dams (Lost River No. 27 [Upper Cove Dam], Lost River No. 10 [Parker Hollow Dam], Lost River No. 4 [Kimsey Run Dam], South Fork No. 4, and Warden Lake) are classified as high hazard dams, meaning the structures have the potential to cause significant property damage or loss of life downstream if they were to fail."

"A high hazard [dam] is defined to have the capacity to cause loss of life."

Click here to read more information from the NRCS created for and presented to the Hardy County Commission in 2004.

$24 MILLION more could be wasted on a pet project!
The Hardy County Commission (HCC) of West Virginia and the Potomac Valley Conservation District (PVCD) of West Virginia are planning to build another dam in the beautiful, peaceful Lost River Valley.  This latest dam would be the fourth one.  The latest proposed site is on the Lower Cove Run.  Three dams have already been built, one on Kimsey Run, one on the Upper Cove Run, and one in Parker Hollow.  At one time, a fifth dam was being planned in the Cullers Run area.  All of these dams, if constructed, would be within approximately 15 miles of one another.  The latest proposed dam, dam site #16 on the Lower Cover Run, would only be about FIVE miles from the Upper Cove dam and TWO miles from the Kimsey Run dam.

When this project was first initiated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a list of possible dam sites was made.  Why were Kimsey Run, the Upper Cove, the Lower Cove, Cullers Run, and Parker Hollow selected?  Did you know that the Hardy County Commissioner at that time, J. Winston Teets (now deceased), and family owned land near the proposed Kimsey Run dam?  Did you know that the former Hardy County Commissioner, J. Michael Teets, now owns the campground just below the dam?  Did you know that PVCD member, Donald Biller owns land surrounding the proposed Lower Cove dam?  Did you know that the PVCD lawyer Howard Krauskopf is the son-in-law of PVCD member, Donald Biller

Do you know how the PVCD supervisors used to be elected?  It was NOT on the county ballot during election time.  Instead, you had to watch for an ad in the classifieds of the local newspaper stating the time and place.  If you were fortunate enough to find the ad, you had two polling places in Hardy County to choose from: Southern States and A Corner Mart.  In 2003, Donald Biller won the election with 14 votes. Out of approximately 12,000 residents, only 29 voted.  Does that seem odd? Maybe that's because you did not see the advertisement for the election or because you COULD NOT vote until you were 21 years old and owned 3 or more acres of land. In summary, these supervisors have the power to take away everything you own because they were elected with 14 votes.  And, if you were not 21 years old or you did not own 3 or more acres of land, you COULD NOT vote against them. Thanks to the group of people fighting this dam project, the law finally got changed. In 2008, for the first time, conservation supervisor elections were held during the general election.

This project was rejected by the public in the late 1960s and through the 1970s.  In the late 1980s/early 1990s, it again received strong opposition by the majority of the public.  It was deemed unnecessary and rejected in the Hardy County Circuit Court in the early 1990s.  When the Potomac Valley Conservation District made its initial appeal to the WV State Supreme Court of Appeals, the Court refused to hear the case.  Then upon a second appeal, the WV State Supreme Court of Appeals decided to hear the case.  The Court ruled PVCD could build ONE dam.  Now, after sneaking in TWO MORE DAMS during the 90's, HCC and PVCD insist there has to be a fourth dam in Lost River.  Citizens still oppose the project, but elected officials still ignore the public they represent.

This dam project in the Lost River Valley will take more homes and land than any flood has ever taken this century.  The cost of this project greatly exceeds the cost of repairs from the past several decades of floods.  If all dams are built it will take over $50 million of federal, state, and local dollars.  After spending millions of dollars, these dams will only help control 35% of the 117,200 acre Lost River drainage area. Did you know that the Lost River headwaters is only 26% of the total Cacapon drainage area.  The Cacapon River has a drainage area of 680 square miles, about 7% of the Potomac River drainage area.  That means the Lost River is only 2% of the Potomac River drainage area. Isn't it strange that these small percentages can justify millions and millions of your dollars, when the state and local government can barely fund the local park facilities?

If the Lower Cove dam is constructed, it will displace several families and take approximately 230-260 acres.  The dam pool will be 50 acres.  So what is the extra 200 acres going to be used for?    The majority of landowners oppose the project, sighting emotional, economic, and environmental factors as well as lack of public awareness, planning, and research. 

What is the price tag?  The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lost River Watershed, released in late August 2006, estimates the cost of the Lower Cove dam at just over $24 MILLION.  This estimate does NOT include the cost to build the water supply/treatment facility.  How much more will it take?

Does Lost River need more flood control?  The Lost River Valley of West Virginia survived the flood of 1985.  Minimal damage occurred compared to surrounding areas.  No homes in the Lost River Valley of Hardy County were swept away nor were any lives lost.  There was no horrific damage like the Moorefield/Petersburg area of WV.  But, our public officials told the West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals (in 1992) that Hardy County had such horrible damage.  True: Moorefield did, the WESTERN part of the county that lays along the South Fork River NOT the Lost River.  The Lost River dams will NOT help control floodwaters in the Moorefield area. 

Does Lost River need another water source?  In the March 10, 2004 issue of the Moorefield Examiner, Ed Kesecker and Donald Biller reported the following to the Hardy County Commission:  “The Commission was told that the study includes extensive data on water supplies for dam sites #10 [Parker Hollow] and #4 [Kimsey Run] which shows more than adequate supplies for projected growth.”  The updated draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), explains that Kimsey Run could be used as a water source if modifications are made.  These modifications to Kimsey Run would cost approximately $9.5 million (according to page 15 of the EIS).  Isn't $9.5 million CHEAPER than $24 million?

Does Lost River need more recreation?  This is the same 15 mile or so area that already hosts recreational sites like the Lost River State Park, Trout Pond Recreation Area/Rock Cliff Fishing Lake, Kimsey Run Lake (dam #4), Upper Cove Lake (dam #27), and Parker Hollow Lake (dam #10).  Some facilities that are no longer staffed (like the Lost River State Park Restaurant).  Now, the local government wants to add another site for tax payers and governmental agencies to try to figure out how to maintain and run efficiently.  Could this money be better spent fixing the current problems and facilities the Lost River Valley has? 

Outsiders/visitors have been attracted to the Lost River Valley because of the peace and tranquility they find here.  They are attracted to the natural things the Lost River Valley has to offer.  So, shouldn't homes be saved from being demolished, land from being taken, and natural wetlands and floodplains from being changed?  What about the displacement of natural habitats in the area?  Construction would affect one of the Lost River Valley's natural trout & other fish reproducing streams.  Is this something you want your tax dollars to go towards?

Please help save homes, land, the community, and your tax money.  So many other citizens could use these millions of dollars.  If you are interested in saving homes and the community, contact us and write your local, state, and federal representatives.  Let your representatives know that you do NOT wish to waste more money.  Help save what citizens have worked so hard for.  Help stop the abuse of eminent domain by county commissioners, conservation supervisors, and other government officials.


Some of the families who would be affected by the proposed Lower Cove Run Dam.


Mathias-Baker Rescue Squad members attend to local landowner who is under stress from NRCS dam/Scoping meeting.
Baker, WV  -  Most all landowners are under extreme stress as a result of NRCS attempting to take their land and homes for another unwanted Lost River dam.


The meeting was held at Mathias-Baker squad building in Baker.

If you would like to contact us to offer your support or find out more about the Lost River Dams, click here to learn how to reach us!


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