Forest Service seeks public input on proposed cabin rental property near Blue Bend

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The Monongahela National Forest is seeking input regarding the implementation of a new rental cabin with a fee on the White Sulphur Ranger District in Greenbrier County.

The Forest Service recently renovated the historic Hopkins Mountain Fireman’s Residence so that it may be made available to the public as a rental cabin. The cabin is located approximately three miles north of Blue Bend Recreation Area. It sleeps four and includes one set of bunk beds, a fold-out bed, tables, chairs, electric lights and heat. A campsite for up eight people, with a picnic table and campfire ring, is also included with the cabin rental. There is a vault toilet on site. No water is available at Hopkins Mountain Fireman’s Cabin, but cabin users can get water at Blue Bend Campground and use the shower facilities there. If approved, the cabin would be available from Apr. 15 – Nov. 30 for $75 per night. Reservations would be required.

The Hopkins Mountain Fireman’s Cabin is part of the Hopkins Mountain Historic District in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia. The historic district includes the Mountain Tower Road (Forest Service Road 139), the fire tower and the fireman’s cabin, all constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935. There is also a logging tramway, in use from about 1908 to the 1920s, and the Civil War Trail, used in 1863 for the rapid retreat of the 64th Virginia Battalion after the Battle of Droop Mountain. Although the fire tower was removed in 1979, during a time when many fire towers were decommissioned due to advances in fire detection methods, the fireman’s cabin remained. “We are excited about this new recreational opportunity for our visitors,” said Rondi Fischer, Marlinton-White Sulphur District ranger. “Because Congress approved the Recreation Enhancement Act in 2004, we’ll be able to use the majority of rental fees collected at Hopkins Mountain Fireman’s Cabin to operate, maintain and improve the cabin.”

New fee proposals, like Hopkins Mountain Fireman’s Cabin, are presented to the Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC). Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups and help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable fee changes. Your input regarding this proposed fee increase will help the RRAC make sure public issues are addressed.

For more information, or to submit comments, contact Matt Edwards, 1627 Cemetery Road, Marlinton, WV 24954, or mjedwards@fs.fed.us, by July 31. Your comments will be shared with the Eastern Region RRAC during the fall of 2017.