HOW easy it is when living in a state that is 77 percent forest to take for granted the wild, wonderful woodlands.
But green space is needed even in the state that is third in percentage that is forested, behind only Maine and New Hampshire.
Since 1995, the West Virginia Land Trust has acquired land and easements to help preserve the natural lands of the state for educational and recreational use of the citizenry.
One such project 15 years ago, an accord reached with the developer of Dudley Plaza, preserved the Trace Fork Canyon along Corridor G.
At the Charleston Land Trust meeting on Monday, board members discussed two proposals from the West Virginia Land Trust.
The first is a proposal to have the city assume control of the 52-acre Wallace Hartman Nature Preserve, which was donated to the county commission in 2002 by Dolly Hartman, in honor of her parents. The land is just off South Ruffner Road, near South Hills.
Since then the adjacent area has seen some development and city planning director Dan Vriendt said the area really is only accessible through the city.
The county is 911 square miles, giving county officials plenty enough to worry about. A transfer to the city would help everyone.
A higher profile proposal would be a potential trail along the Elk River from downtown to Clendenin. Campgrounds and boat ramps could be part of such a project.
City leaders should explore the feasibility of a trail, which would begin near the Civic Center.
Not only would this help local residents and make the city more attractive to people looking for a place to live, but such a trail could help market the city as a host for conventions.
Surely, a biking and hiking trail within minutes of the hotels would help sell the city to visitors.
Charleston is blessed with tremendous beauty. This is a gift city leaders have a duty to protect for future generations.