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We are pleased to share highlights of the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative!
CASRI is a diverse partnership of private, state, and federal organizations who share a common goal of restoring historic red spruce-northern hardwood ecosystems across the Central Appalachians.
CASRI envisions a functioning red spruce- northern hardwood forest ecosystem with the scale, connectivity, and maturity to support the natural communities dependent upon this ecosystem. To achieve this landscape scale restoration, CASRI works on both public and private lands, promoting the health of forested, riparian, and agricultural lands, as well the multitude of plant and animal species which make their home in the central Appalachian mountains.
2017 proved to be yet another year of impressive accomplishments for CASRI:
- Over 1,451 acres of high-elevation lands placed on a trajectory to develop into functioning red spruce ecosystems, bringing our restoration total to over 7,245 acres.
- 60,000 red spruce seedlings and 53,564 native plants planted on high-priority conservation and restoration sites.
- 195 acres of red spruce forest protected from damage by livestock use.
- Over 480 acres of non-native invasive species treated in high-elevation red spruce systems.
- Over 264 volunteers dedicated their time to re- storing red spruce habitat and planted more than 10,100 seedlings.
- Over 80,000 red spruce seedlings grown.
Sprucing things up
CASRI includes a diverse group of partners, each addressing spruce restoration from their own angle.
- Green Forests Work in partnership with U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resource Conserva on Service restored 96 acres of reclaimed mine land, plan ng more than 76,000 na ve plants on the Mower Tract in the Greenbrier Ranger District
- The Nature Conservancy’s Ecological Restora on Team released understory red spruce on 575 acres of land on the Upper Greenbrier North work area amoun ng to roughly 150,000 trees.
- Together the West Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, and U.S. Forest Service planted 1,950 red spruce seedlings in a recently clear cut area in Kumbrabow State Forest.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in coopera on with Trout Unlimited constructed live stock exclusion fences on two farms protec ng more that 195 acres of spruce habitat from livestock grazing prac ces.
- Canaan Valley Na onal Wildlife Refuge constructed an underpass on a trail to increase Cheat Mountain Salamander habitat connec vity and built a 3 mile trail to support wildlife crossings in the red spruce forest.
- U.S. Forest Service Greenbrier Ranger District hosted two educa onal and tree plan ng days on the Mower Tract, teaching 90 students ranging in age from elementary to college about ecological restora on of red spruce habitat.
- CASRI partners engaged in valuable research including new ndings on canopy gap dynamics, spruce gene c connec vity in Central Appalachia, and habitat selec on of the Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel.
To learn more about CASRI and view the complete 2017 annual report, visit: