West Virginia Maneuver Area

The former West Virginia Maneuver Area (WVMA) is comprised of 2,180,367 acres of land in and around the Monongahela National Forest. Within the former WVMA, artillery/mortar practice activities were conducted by the U.S. Department of the Army (USDoA) as training for involvement in World War II. Training activities were reported to have been confined to an area of approximately 50,000 acres at most, in the eastern side of the former WVMA about 12 to 15 miles west of Petersburg.

Military training in the former WVMA began in August of 1943 and ended in July 1944; more than 50,000 U.S. troops are estimated to have passed through the region as they trained for service overseas; the training maneuvers were intended to teach soldiers skills that they would need for fighting in the mountains of Italy; while some soldiers who went through the various Army training schools in the WVMA did end up in Italy, many ended up fighting in France, Germany, and the Pacific.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other state and federal agencies are committed to keeping the public safe and informing the public of the events that took place in the WVMA region. Careful attention is being taken to ensure that the public is aware of the presence of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), but at the same time is not scared to the point that they will not use the land for its intended purposes.

The WVMA project is authorized under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) that was established by section 211 of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 and is codified in Sections 2701-2707 of Title 10 of the United States Code. DERP addresses the removal and remedial clean-up activities at active sites under the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) and at Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). Ordnance and Explosives (OE) response actions at sites that were contaminated while under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DoD), but which subsequently have been transferred our of DoD control, are one of the categories conducted under the DERP-FUDS program. DoD has delegated authority for executing OE response activities at FUDS such as the WVMA, to the USACE through Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDoA). The Huntington District (CELRH) is the Geographic District and has project management responsibilities for the WVMA project.

This website is intended to provide information concerning the environmental restoration, community involvement, and public education activities at WVMA to the general public. The material contained herein will be updated as activities at the site progress, so check back often or contact the USACE Huntington District at 1-800-822-8413.

More information can be found at the USDA Forest Service's Dolly Sods Wilderness website.