Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

October 8, 2013

City backs grant proposal for forest management plan

CUMBERLAND — The Mayor and City Council agreed to give their support to a proposal by The Nature Conservancy to apply for a grant to develop a forest management plan for the city’s watershed. The grant proposal was explained by Donnelle Keech, of the conservancy, who said that development of a plan was essential to protect the source of the city’s water.

The decision to support the grant application was taken at Tuesday evening’s mayor and city council meeting at city hall. The grant application is for federal money with a deadline of Oct. 15, or until the date the U.S. government has emerged from its shutdown, Keech said.

Keech also proposed that a conservation easement by the city be considered as part of a long-term plan to manage the forest surrounding the lakes that provide Cumberland with drinking water. City officials took no action on that idea. The easement, if it came about, would keep the land under city ownership, but limit certain uses that conflicted with conservation of the forests surrounding the watershed, Keech said. The easement could also help with limited city resources, allowing the city to take advantage of Pennsylvania and Maryland state natural resource departments to help manage the forest land, Keech said.

A proposal which would have transferred ownership of the forest land to the Western Maryland Conservancy met a dead end after public opposition in 2010-11. The Pennsylvania organization withdrew their $4 million offer for the land in early 2011.

City Solicitor Michael Cohen said one of the main objections to the Western Maryland Conservancy offer was that it would have resulted in the city giving up ownership of the forests.

Council member Nick Scarpelli emphasized that if a conservation easement was considered in the future, the city should maintain ownership of the land.

Council members were quick to point out that they were only supporting the grant application, and not taking a position on a conservation easement.

Lake Gordon and Lake Koon, which supplies Cumberland’s drinking water, are sister lakes in Bedford County, Pa., separated by a 92-foot high dam. About 4,000 acres of forests surround the lakes. The city owns the land surrounding the lakes and recreational use of the lakes is permitted.

Matthew Bieniek can be contacted at

Text Only
Latest news
  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0464.JPG Cranes set up to remove overturned fuel tanker in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large cranes were being set up early Wednesday afternoon in downtown Oakland to remove a fuel tanker that overturned several hours earlier and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students support renovation of Southern Middle School

    OAKLAND — Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oakland business district evacuated after tanker overturns

    OAKLAND — The town of Oakland business district was evacuated Wednesday when a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • Fuel tanker overturned in Oakland; evacuation underway

    OAKLAND — A tanker carrying a load of propane reportedly overturned Wednesday morning in the town of Oakland, forcing an evacuation of the area, according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 16, 2014

  • West Virginia DMV expanding online services

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is widening its online service offerings.
    West Virginians now have the option to renew their vehicle registration and request a duplicate registration card online.

    April 16, 2014

  • Cherry blossoms boost Metro ridership

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says good weather and the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom contributed to high ridership over the weekend.

    April 15, 2014

  • Bills to facilitate prison guard investigations

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The governor has signed a series of bills aimed at preventing another corruption scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore Jail.

    April 15, 2014

  • Student charged at Mineral County Vo-Tech

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser Police responded to the Mineral County Vocational Technical Center on Monday at 10:46 a.m. for an incident in which a 21-year-old student was allegedly thrown into a wall by a 17-year-old student.

    April 15, 2014

Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
NDN Video