WV DNR News Release

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Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: October 18, 2017

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Media Contact: Samantha Smith 304-957-9364 Samantha.Smith@wv.gov


Gary Foster, Wildlife Resources Section, 304-637-0245 Gary.M.Foster@wv.gov

National forest and wildlife management area roads in West Virginia open to hunters with disabilities

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For more than 20 years, a unique program developed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Forest Service has increased accessibility of public lands for hunters with physical challenges who possess a Class Q/QQ special hunting permit.

“Thanks to our partnerships with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and the Monongahela National Forest, we’ve been able to provide some excellent hunting opportunities to sportsmen and women with disabilities,” said Paul Johansen, chief of the DNR Wildlife Resources Section. “There are also many state-owned wildlife management areas that have designated roads for Class Q/QQ hunter access.”

Class Q (resident) and QQ (non-resident) special hunting permits are issued by the DNR to applicants who are permanently disabled in their lower extremities, as certified by a licensed physician. Applications may be obtained at any DNR office or license agent. Successful permittees will be issued a wallet-sized permit card. This card must be presented in person at the appropriate National Forest or DNR district office to receive a letter of authorization and a gate key to use designated Class Q/QQ roads.

Class Q/QQ hunter access roads are generally kept locked to ensure hunting opportunities along these roads are most readily available to hunters with disabilities. While behind gates, Class Q/QQ hunters must obey all National Forest and/or state WMA rules and all state hunting regulations. All appropriate documentation, licenses, and stamps must be in the hunter’s possession while he or she is hunting. Nonresident hunters are reminded that they must have a National Forest Stamp (Class I) to hunt on U.S. Forest Service lands in West Virginia.

When hunting within a designated area, Class Q/QQ hunters may hunt from a stationary motor vehicle with the engine turned off. The permittee may be accompanied by no more than one assistant at least 16 years of age inside the vehicle. The assistant may not hunt while assisting the Class Q/QQ permit holder.

According to Paul Johansen, the Class Q/QQ program has been very well received by hunters with disabilities in West Virginia.

“We’re proud of the successes we’ve had with this program, but we’re always looking for ways to improve it and increase participation,” he said. “There’s a growing body of scientific knowledge that demonstrates spending time outdoors is beneficial to mental and physical wellness. I’d like to encourage hunters with physical challenges to look into the Class Q/QQ program as a great opportunity to get out and experience West Virginia’s rich natural resources and hunting heritage.”

The West Virginia DNR and the U.S. Forest Service are committed to providing quality hunting opportunities for all outdoorspeople in good legal standing regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age or level of physical ability.

For more information regarding access to National Forest or state Wildlife Management Area Class Q/QQ hunting areas and directions to the areas, contact the appropriate U.S. Forest Service Ranger District or WV DNR District office listed below. Information is also available on the DNR website (www.wvdnr.gov) and the DNR Hunting Map tool under the “Hunting” menu.

Class Q/QQ Roads on National Forest Lands:

Monongahela National Forest

Cheat/Potomac Ranger District, Parsons, WV (304-478-3251)
Goodwin Run (Forest Road 933), Tucker County
Brushy Fork (Forest Road 973), Tucker County
Five Lick (Forest Road 153/153A), Randolph County
Back Ridge (Forest Road 814), Pendleton County

Greenbrier Ranger District, Bartow, WV (304-456-3335)
Little Beech Mountain (Forest Road 385, 183B), Randolph County
Span Oak (Forest Road 224), Pocahontas County

Gauley Ranger District, Richwood, WV (304-846-2695)
Frosty Gap (Forest Road 731), Pocahontas County
Buckeye Branch (Forest Road 273), Webster County

Marlinton/White Sulphur Ranger District, Marlinton, WV (304-799-4334)
Crooked Fork (Forest Road 251), Pocahontas County
Marlin Mountain (Forest Road 300), Pocahontas County
Panther Ridge (Forest Road 298), Greenbrier County
Bear Track (Forest Road 882), Greenbrier County

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

North River Ranger District, Harrisonburg, VA (540-432-0187)
Dry River Hollow (Forest Road 151H), Pendleton County
Class Q/QQ Roads on DNR Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)

DNR District 1, Farmington, WV (304-825-6787)
Hillcrest WMA, Hancock County - 2,212 acres
Lewis Wetzel WMA, Wetzel County – 14,023 acres
Little Indian Creek WMA, Monongalia County - 1,083 acres

DNR District 2, Romney, WV (304-822-3551)
Sleepy Creek WMA, Morgan/Berkeley counties - 22,347 acres

DNR District 3, French Creek, WV (304-924-6211)
Burnsville Lake WMA, Braxton County - 12,579 acres
Elk River WMA, Braxton County - 18,396 acres
Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA, Lewis County - 18,289 acres

DNR District 4, Beckley, WV (304-256-6947)
Bluestone Lake WMA, Summers County – 17,744 acres

DNR District 5, Alum Creek, WV (304-756-1023)
McClintic WMA, Mason County - 3,655 acres
Green Bottom WMA*, Cabell County - 1,101 acres
Beech Fork Lake WMA*, Cabell County - 7,531

DNR District 6, Parkersburg, WV (304-420-4550)
Hughes River WMA, Ritchie County - 10,278 acres

*WMA has Class Q/QQ-accessible hunting area only – no gated road.