A Conservancy study identified West Virginia’s highland forests as strongholds for nature in the face of climate change. If protected, these regions should be strong enough to support healthy ecosystems that people rely on.
Part of a larger, regional study of the cumulative effects of energy, Conservancy scientists assessed the effects of wind-energy development on the forests and streams of the Central Appalachians. The effort will ensure that renewable energy is produced smartly.
3,000 acres on the outskirts of Davis, in Tucker County, have been protected as the new Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area, thanks in part to assistance from the Conservancy. The property connects Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge to the Monongahela National Forest and comes within a few hundred yards of Blackwater Falls State Park.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated Ice Mountain as a National Natural Landmark—selected for their outstanding condition, diversity and value to science and education. The mountain gets its name from the refrigeration effect that takes place inside its talus; as a result, the site supports many species normally found in much colder regions.
The Conservancy helped to secure a conservation easement that will forever protect 200 acres along the Smoke Hole Canyon rim—land that adjoins the Monongahela National Forest’s Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks Recreation Area. Development restrictions will forever protect the scenic view enjoyed by many recreation seekers.
The Conservancy completed a multi-year project to protect 2,000 acres of red spruce and northern hardwoods blanketing the western slope of Mount Porte Crayon. Known as Thunderstruck, the property shelters the waters of Spruce Run and protects an assortment of rare plants and animals—such as the Cheat Mountain salamander.
A partnership was developed between the Conservancy’s Appalachian program staff and their counterparts in China’s Yunnan Province. Each with temperate broadleaf deciduous forests, the regions’ teams will exchange knowledge about their approach to conservation—especially in the face of shared threats like climate change.
With your help, 2013 can be another successful year for conservation in West Virginia.