West Virginia University Morgantown and WVU Potomac State College Alumnus Tom Cover was recently appointed as the new director of the West Virginia Division of Forestry by Governor Jim Justice.
Cover, who has 44 years of wood industry experience, previously served as a regional forester with the WV Division of Forestry; as a procurement forester and sawmill plant manager with Allegheny Wood Products; and as a district timber manager and forest area procurement manager with Georgia Pacific.
In addition to earning an associate degree in forestry at Potomac State College, Class of 1973 and a bachelor’s degree in forest resource management at WVU Morgantown, Cover also attended Professional Sawmill Management School, received paramilitary training and is licensed by the West Virginia Board of Registered Foresters.
“Being from a small rural area in Pocahontas County, and after visiting PSC, I did not believe that I could survive the environment at a large university during my first two years of college. I also knew that PSC offered more one-on-one interaction with the professors, and to this day, I fondly remember two professors who meant a great deal to me. One taught me to appreciate reading while the other gave me excellent directions while at PSC. I was committed to attending a forestry school and PSC offered full transfer of all my credits to the Morgantown campus which made the decision very easy,” he added.
“After going on to WVU Morgantown, I found that my decision was correct as PSC offered an excellent start to my education. I completed my bachelor’s degree at WVU Morgantown taking only forestry-related classes located on the Evansdale Campus and appreciated it so much more,” Cover said.
While reflecting on his career choice, Cover offered this advice to students, “Forestry is an excellent avenue encompassing all 55 counties in West Virginia, yet still offers many different opportunities. A career in forestry is also family-oriented and can offer independence to a person who enjoys working hard and who wants to feel like they’re making a difference.”
Cover and his wife, Connie, have been married for 45 years. They are the parents of two adult children and four grandchildren.