Our Board of Directors


Pete Runyon - Pike County, KY - President

Vicky Evans - Martin County, KY - Vice President

John Burchett - Mingo County, WV - Treasurer

Mark Kemp - McDowell County, WV - Secretary


Dustin Estep - McDowell County, WV Grace Williams - Mingo County, WV

David Hatfield - Mingo County, WV Jennifer Justice - McDowell County, WV

Madison Mooney - Martin County, KY Nina McCoy - Martin County, KY

Ex Officio Members of the Board of Directors:

Christy Bailey - National Coal Heritage Area Authority

Sara Prior - WV DEP, Southern Basin Coordinator

Nathan Alexander - KY Division of Water, Big Sandy Basin Coordinator

Big Sandy Conservation and Recreation meeting

May 2, 2023

A contingent of FotTFR board members was hosted by a new group, Big Sandy Conservation and Recreation, at the historic lock and dam in the Big Sandy River between Fort Gay, WV and Louisa, KY. We then attended a Fort Gay City Council meeting and accepted an invitation to a private residence in Pritchard, WV for a cookout and boat tour of the river. The group hopes to promote the historic area around the dam and the entire river for tourism purposes. It is both an interesting and beautiful area to visit. Thank you Mayor Joetta Hatfield and Paul Heaberlin for all the incredible hospitality.

The Big Sandy River starts at the confluence of the Tug Fork and Levisa Fork then flows 29 miles to the Ohio River.This lock and dam is just downstream of the head of the river. Built in the late 1800's, it was the first needle dam in the United States and aided in river transportation of people and commerce until the railroads were constructed several years later.


FotTFR Board Members: John Burchett, Pete Runyon, Grace Williams & Vicky Evans


Soon after constuction was complete in the late 1800's

From the Kentucky side looking to West Virginia

The upstream end of the lock chamber showing the gate.

FotTFR Board of Directors Dinner

February 25, 2023

We're One Year Old!

Our Board of Directors met for a meal before getting down to business at our quarterly meeting. Each member brings something special to the table to help us do good things for the Tug Fork River and its watershed.

FotTFR Board Members Attend State Flatwater Trail Meeting

West Virginia flatwater trail groups and supporting goverment agencies gathered at the Coal River Group Headquarters in Meadowood Park in Tornado, WV on Saturday, October 15th, 2022. Coal River Group and West Virginia's Flatwater Trail Commission hosted the informational event. Water Trail history and strategies were discussed by those in attendance. A tour of Coal River Water Trail access points and the new WV DNR Wildlife Education Center were conducted after lunch.

This was the 1st of what is hoped to become an annual event to be held at water trails across the state in the coming years.

Friends meet Friends

Monday, July 25, 2022 

It was an incredible privilege for Friends of the Tug Fork River to host Friends of the Cheat (River), from northern WV, in Williamson this morning.Thank you to the locals that joined us for breakfast at the Coal Cafe to discuss small town economics surrounding the Hatfield McCoy Trail System. FOC is visiting the area gathering information for a non-motorized multi-county trail system planned for northern WV.Special thanks to Wes Wilson for leading our trip to Death Rock above the city and sharing his wealth of information about the area.We couldn’t let our northern friends leave without something to forget us by. A jug of Pauley Hollow Distillery moonshine should do the trick! Pauley Hollow uses water from the original Randal McCoy well to distill the “fuel of the feud” just across the river in Forest Hills Kentucky.We hope to see our friends return soon!