News Release: February 5, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Today, Gov. Jim Justice announced the names of the five West Virginians he has appointed to serve as the first members of the State’s new Flatwater Trail Commission.

Gov. Justice has appointed Bill Currey of Kanawha County as the commission’s first chairman. Currey is a longtime proponent of flatwater trails in West Virginia and is the co-founder and chairman of the nonprofit Coal River Group.

Gov. Justice has also appointed John Burchett of Mingo County, George Levitsky of Marion County, Amanda Pitzer of Preston County, and John Wilson of Harrison County as commission members.

The commission was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2020 to support the growing demand for water-based trails in West Virginia.

In recent years, the popularity of recreational boating via kayaks, paddleboards and motorboats has generated interest in the sport throughout the state’s rural areas, which offer many rivers suitable for trail expansion.

The purpose of the commission is to assist and support the development of water trails by addressing opportunities to improve and coordinate approvals for trail development while providing a central clearinghouse for information on funding sources and technical assistance.

The commission is required to hold four meetings each year and will receive administrative support from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The first-ever meeting of the Flatwater Trail Commission will be held virtually on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at 6 p.m. The public can watch a live stream of the meeting from the West Virginia Department of Commerce’s YouTube Channel, or from the WVDNR’s Facebook page.