The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 15,000 acres of high elevation wetlands, including 300 acres secured this year with the help of the Conservancy and the Conservation Fund.
The purchase adds protection to the largest wetland complex in the central Appalachians, home to 580 plant species, as well as the Cheat Mountain salamander and the endangered West Virginia northern flying squirrel.
The purchase will help connect the refuge to the Monongahela National Forest and connect two important parts of the refuge. The Conservancy has worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the valley, which historically suffered from logging, fires and other human activities. In addition to land purchases, the Conservancy and partners have planted thousands of red spruce, fenced in large areas of balsam fir forest to prevent deer browse, and treated invasives to restore wetlands.