New River Gorge National River

About the Park

The New River within New River Gorge National River flows from below Bluestone Dam, near Hinton, West Virginia, to just north of the U.S. Highway 19 bridge near Fayetteville, West Virginia. On its journey through the gorge, the New River passes through an extensive geological formation. Emergent rocks, rock outcrops, trails and coal mines are found to provide diverse habitat producing rich and abundant flora and fauna species.

New River Gorge National River

In the gorge, there is typically a 1000 feet difference in elevation between the river bottom and the adjacent plateau. The New River dissects all physiographic provinces of the Appalachian Mountains, and therefore is believed to be a corridor facilitating the movement of southern plant and animal species into West Virginia.

In addition to serving as a refuge for some species, New River Gorge provides a geographical barrier that limits the east-west distribution of other species. This portion of southern WV falls within the Mixed Mesophytic Forest Region. Recognized forest types in the three park areas include oak-hickory, mixed oak, oak-maple, oak-yellow pine, hemlock-hardwoods, northern hardwoods, cove hardwoods, and bottomland and floodplain hardwoods.

Emissions Profile

In 2008, GHG emissions from New River Gorge National River's Park Operations totaled 1,633 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). For perspective, a typical single family home in the U.S. produces approximately 11 MTCO2E per year. Thus, the emissions from Park Operations are roughly equivalent to the emissions from the energy use of 146 households each year.

The graph below, taken from our Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2008 broken down into sectors:



Reduce GHG emissions from its operations to 30% below 2008 levels by the year 2016 by implementing GHG emission mitigation actions identified by the park.

To meet this goal, the Park will implement strategies proposed in this plan that relate to the Park's current and future emission inventories. Specifically, the plan recommends three strategies:

  • Strategy 1: Identify and implement mitigation actions that the park can independently take to reduce GHG emissions resulting from activities within and by the park.
  • Strategy 2: Increase climate change education and outreach efforts.
  • Strategy 3: Monitor progress with respect to reducing GHG emissions and identify areas for improvement.

To read more about what we are doing at New River Gorge National River about Climate Change, check out our Action Plan!