History & Culture

As our nation has grown, so too has the way we have used our forests and natural resources. The land that is now Monongahela National Forest has gone through many changes over the last 100 years, and our story of conservation reflects the demands of expansion and subsequent restoration necessary to ensure that the Forest continues to deliver benefits to the public for the next 100 years.


This Week in History

A stream runs over a long of boulders in a shallow river.

Each week during our centennial celebration we will highlight a story from the 100 years of history on Monongahela for the current week. Join us for highlights and retrospectives featuring many of the biggest moments in Forest history as well as a few of the smaller, lesser known tales. 

2020 Centennial Virtual Exhibit

A planting crew from the 1930s poses for a photo in a freshly planted but otherwise barren tract.

During our centennial celebration, we will highlight artifacts from forest history. These may be tools used for over the years by the Forest Service to steward the land, relics from people who occupied the land before it was federally managed, or indicators from natural history that describes the land from it's natural state. All items are used to tell a story of land management that has brought the Monongahela to where we are today.

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Fire Towers: Fifty Years of Early Detection and Fire Protection

Canaan Mountain Lookout circa 1927

Nearly a half-century since the last fire tower was staffed on Monongahela National Forest, the vision of the lone sentinel high above the forest in a remote tower still lingers. 

The Gateway

of west facade of Gateway, post-2014 stabilization

This unique, one-of-a-kind, stone structure quickly became a prominent roadside landmark and recognizable Monongahela National Forest icon.


Forestry’s First Steps in West Virginia: Rothkugel’s Plantation Remembered

View of Rothkugel Plantation (left) looking south along WV Rt. 28 in 2008

Situated on a quiet stretch of Route 28 in the East Fork of the Greenbrier River valley of Pocahontas County is one of the oldest experimental tree plantations of its kind in the state.

A Century of Forest Recreation

A man waves as he drives his car laden with camping great through the gear into Stuart Rec Area

The Forest strives to provide a range of recreational opportunities and improve its facilities to meet diverse needs of the American public as the number of visitors grows each year.

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