Conifer Conservation and Ecology in the Central Appalachians

Fall 2019 CASRI Conifer Health Colloquium, and Field Tours

October 16 – 17, 2019  –  Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge

Wednesday, October 16  –  Conifer Health Colloquium

2:45 – 3:30pHemlock Forest Health Monitoring, Treatment and Ecology John Perez, Biologist, New River Gorge National River & Gauley River National Recreation Area 
3:30 – 3:45pUpdate on Hemlock Health and Treatment in the Central AppalachiansAmy Hill, Forest Stewardship Coordinator, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service
3:45 – 4:00pBreak
4:00 – 4:30pBalsam/Canaan Fir Research UpdatesHessl Lab, Geography, West Virginia University
4:30 – 5:15pBalsam Fir Woolly Adelgid Resistance and ManagementBen Smith, Research Scientist, Forest Restoration Alliance
5:15 – 6:00pSpeaker panel discussion on conifer conservation in the Central Appalachian Highlands

FIELD TOURS  Thursday, October 17, 2019

Gathering: 9AM, Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge, we are targeting our ending time to 3:30PM in Canaan Valley

Morning site visits in the Blackwater Falls State Park will focus on Hemlock Woolly Adelgid research and treatment plots. For lunch we will stop at Davis local restaurants before traveling to Canaan Valley for the afternoon site visits. In Canaan Valley we will visit the balsam (Canaan) fir research and restoration sites undertaken by The Nature Conservancy, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, West Virginia University, and Canaan Valley State Park. At the end of the afternoon we plan to take a chairlift ride to the top of Weiss Knob for views of a mature spruce forest, as well as topography of the Canaan Valley area that enables fir trees to thrive. Site visits will be led by the workshop presenters and CASRI partners and are free and open to the public. Please plan to carpool.

Please visit to RSVP.

There is no cost to register but we would like a head count for room set-up and logistical planning.

The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy is proud to work with a collaborative called the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative, or CASRI.  Together with the support of The Nature Conservancy, and the Blackwater Falls State Park, The Highlands Conservancy invites you to join us at our Conifer Health Colloquium in learning more about some of the challenges facing our Hemlocks and Balsam Fir Trees.  

CASRI is a partnership of diverse interests with a common goal of restoring historic red spruce-northern hardwood ecosystems across the high elevation landscapes of Central Appalachia. It is comprised of private, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations which recognize the importance of this ecosystem for its ecological, aesthetic, recreational, economic, and cultural values.

Red spruce and red spruce-northern hard-wood forests once dominated the highest elevations of West Virginia, covering over one million acres. Extensive logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s reduced much of the mature forest in the Appalachians, including the red spruce-dominated stands. Today less than 50,000 acres of high elevation red spruce forests remain in the State.

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact; Dave Saville at, or 304-692-8118.