Associated Press Published

State Personnel Board Votes to Lay Off 37 in Forestry


Several dozen West Virginia Division of Forestry employees are being laid off this week.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail says the forestry workers have helped clean up areas devastated by last week’s flooding and hauled supplies to flood victims. They police the state’s logging industry and fight forest fires.

The State Personnel Board voted Tuesday to approve the plan to lay off 37 division employees. Their last day on the job will be Thursday.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has blamed the cuts on state lawmakers. The division wound up with a $1.7 million shortfall after lawmakers passed a lower severance tax on the timber industry than Tomblin requested.

State legislative leaders have said Tomblin didn’t give them a heads-up about the pending forestry cuts. Lawmakers have said they would have looked for ways to spare the jobs if he had.