West Virginia: The Comeback Kid

West Virginia Is a Prairie State, Too

West Virginia’s tiny prairies are scattered within pockets of forest in the rain shadow east of the Allegheny Mountain and Dolly Sods. Indiangrass, big and little bluestem, sunflowers and other sun-loving plants thrive in the thin, dry soils—if they are not overgrazed by domestic livestock or their habitat isn’t converted to vacation home developments or quarries.

The Conservancy’s stewardship staff continued work this year on an ambitious prairie restoration project that is the first of its kind for the state. The Conservancy is promoting a West Virginia prairie comeback in the Smoke Hole Canyon by cutting competing eastern red cedar and controlling non-native invasive species like knapweed and Japanese stilt grass.

Adding full sunlight and removing competition allows the native grasses, along with state-rare wildflowers like the prairie rocket and crested coralroot, to thrive and spread.

Back to main page

 Celebrate more comebacks:
Restoring High Elevation Spruce Habitat
Protecting National Forests
Keeping Canaan Valley Wet


   Please leave this field empty
x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Learn about the places you love. Find out
how you can help.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

I'm already on the list!

Read our privacy policy.