Photo of Fayette Station Bridge in West Virginia.


West Virginia must stop ignoring the presence of mountain lions

In the box below you will find all the governing state statutes, mountain lion legal status, state laws, information about the state legislature, initiative and referendum processes, and the state wildlife agency, mountain lion management plans, mountain lion hunting laws, depredation laws, and other regulations as appropriate.

  • Return to the portal page for West Virginia.

  • The status of puma concolor in West Virginia.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in West Virginia.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in West Virginia.

  • Cougar science and research in West Virginia.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

West Virginia Cougar Laws and Regulations

Generally, treatment of wildlife in the State of West Virginia is governed by the West Virginia Code – the state’s collection of all its current laws. Since our summary below may not be completely up to date, you should be sure to review the most current law for the State of West Virginia.

You can check the statutes directly at a state-managed website
These statutes are searchable.

West Virginia’s wildlife regulations can be found in the Natural Resources section of the West Virginia Code of State Rules. The state’s wildlife regulations are promulgated by the director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Natural Resources Commission.

The Legislature

The West Virginia Legislature is the state’s part-time law-making body. The lower chamber – the House of Delegates – consists of 100 members who serve 2-year terms. The upper chamber – the Senate – is made up of 34 members who serve 4-year terms. The Democratic Party has controlled both chambers since 1930. You may contact your West Virginia state delegate here and your state senator here.

The West Virginia Constitution requires the legislature to convene annually in regular sessions on the second Wednesday of January. Every fourth year after 1973, the legislature must organize itself before adjourning until the second Wednesday of February. Regular sessions during every fourth year after 1973 are limited to 60 calendar days including and after the second Wednesday in February. During all other years, regular sessions are limited to 60 calendar days including and after the second Tuesday in January. Regular sessions may be extended upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of each legislative chamber. There does not appear to be a limit on either the length of an extension or the number of times a regular session may be extended. The governor may call a special legislative session when he or she believes it necessary or when three-fifths of the members of each legislative chamber request a special session. There does not appear to be a limit on the duration of special sessions.

Click here to visit the scorecard's website...

Environmental Scorecard

League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters' scorecard considers the State Legislature's environmental records since 1971. It quantifies the environmental votes of each individual legislator — an important first step in considering accountability — and provides critical qualitative assessments as well. The scorecard will help you to know your legislator before you write a letter in support of cougars.

Click here to view our Activist Guide...

Becoming a Mountain Lion Activist

There are lots of opportunities to take action!

Are you new to mountain lion activism? You want to change your local environment to improve it for cougars... but you don't know how to start. You may feel like you are all alone... but it takes just one person to change the attitudes and lifestyles of hundreds of others. You don't need to belong to a group. It doesn't take special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about cougars to want to help them survive. You've already done the hard part, now let us help you with the next step.

Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Commonly abbreviated as: WVDNR

Steven McDaniel, Director of Wildlife Resources

Division of Natural Resources
Building 74
324 Fourth Ave
South Charleston, WV 25303
(304) 558-2771

Bear Biologist
Colin Carpenter
(304) 256-6947

Please write to the director and express your concern for lions in WV.

Thank the agency when they take steps to protect our state's cougars. When they fall short of expectations, politely ask for policy reform and more officer training.



Copyright 1988-2018. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.