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The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)


  West Virginia Land Cover
Capital Charleston
Largest City Charleston
Area Ranked 41st
Total 24,077.73 sq mi
Population Ranked 37th
Total (2000) 1,808,344
Density 75.1/sq mi
Elevation
Highest point Spruce Knob 4,863 ft (1,482 m)
Lowest point Potomac River 240 ft (73 m)
West Virginia Land Cover

West Virginia is located within the Appalachian Mountain Range, producing a landscape dominated by highly dissected, low mountains. The State rests on two plateaus, the Cumberland and the Allegheny. West Virginia has two panhandles, the northern panhandle which wedges between Ohio and Pennsylvania and the eastern Panhandle which projects in between Maryland and Virginia. West Virginia is well drained; its important rivers include the Tug Fork, the Big Sandy River, and the New River. West Virginia's landscape is dominated by forests. Deciduous trees are the most prevalent forest type, with oak, hickory, maple, and birch being the prominent tree genera. In higher elevations, evergreen forests of spruce and white pine are most common. The State's abundance in woodlands have created a valuable forest industry that can be found operating in every county in the State, producing timber, furniture, and wood pallets. Coal mining is another one of the State's important economies, with a mixture of underground and surface mining, accounting for 15% of total coal production in the United States.