There is a special concentration of headwaters in a landscape known as the “Birthplace of Rivers” which comprises the Headwaters watershed area of this proposal’s jurisdiction. This area within the Monongahela National Forest contains the headwaters of six major West Virginia rivers: the Cranberry, Cherry, Gauley, Elk, Williams and Greenbrier which all drain toward the Ohio River and ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the area’s ecological significance as well as its value in protecting downstream water quality and access to outdoor recreation, there is a campaign underway to designate the area as a national monument. Monuments are designed to preserve features which possess unique scenic, recreational, cultural and historical values. Although the special features under consideration are part of existing National Forest lands, their futures are uncertain, as changes in future management direction may alter the way these sensitive areas are enjoyed.
Angie Rosser is currently the Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. Angie has been swimming in rivers and lakes as long as she can remember. She grew up near the Ohio River, where it was and still is unthinkable to swim safely. Currently she lives along the banks of the Elk River and enjoys swimming and boating in it and many of West Virginia’s waters. Her motivation for clean water advocacy is personal; she wants to be able to swim in her backyard river. Her motivation is also political; she believes everyone has a right to enjoy clean water and that conservation of our water resources is central to a global shared prosperity. Angie comes with a background of working in West Virginia over the past 18 years on social and environmental justice issues in the non-profit sector. Her experience and training includes emphasis on policy advocacy, community organizing, leadership development, coalition building and program administration. She has been a registered lobbyist in the State of West Virginia for 6 years and works effectively with lawmakers, elected officials and governmental agencies. In her current position, Angie has built relationships with environmental activists and organizations across the state. The responsibilities of her work have also helped advance her knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework involving water issues. With her affiliation with the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Angie is already established in the state as a leading clean water advocate. Angie’s connection to the Headwaters began as a young adult, when as an undergrad she and her friends would take weekend camping and hiking trips to the Monongahela National Forest. In fact, it was the impact of the beauty and magnificence of those early experiences among West Virginia Headwaters that led her to choose to move to West Virginia “as soon as she could” and dedicate her work to the people and places of the state. Angie still appreciates and takes time to enjoy her favorite swimming holes and camping spots within the Headwaters and embraces the opportunity to devote her work and talents to their protection. Angie holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in Organizational Communication from West Virginia University.
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