What Are Some of the Responsibilities of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources?


Quick Answer

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, which in 1990 was renamed to the Division of Natural Resources, is responsible for the conservation and management of wildlife, providing outdoor recreation venues, and promoting travel and tourism in the state. These responsibilities include issuing hunting and fishing licenses and regulating their use, enforcing boating laws, and operating state parks. The department is also responsible for taking care of state-owned public lands and any waterways on those lands.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, the Division of Natural Resources has roughly 825 permanent employees. The various positions include law enforcement, public information, park and campground caretakers, wildlife experts, real estate managers and executive staffers.

Making camping reservations for all the state parks and recreation areas also falls under the Division of Natural Resources, under the Parks and Recreation Section. Each park has its own website and a link to download a reservations request for that park. Staffers also take phone reservations, and are responsible for keeping the websites up to date.

The campground caretakers usually have more interaction with the public. Most of the time their jobs involve making sure campers are following regulations. Some are full-fledged law enforcement officers, able to coordinate rescues of animals or people and initiate arrests if need be.

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