Storm systems arriving from the Midwest have dropped most of their precipitation immediately to the west, leaving the mountaintop susceptible to drought and fire.
What TNC Is Doing
The Conservancy is working to protect North Fork Mountain through land acquisition, education and restoration efforts. The Conservancy:
- Owns or manages 1,600 acres at its Pike Knob Preserve and nearly 3,000 acres at its Panther Knob Preserve.
- Has acquired 2,000 acres next to Pike Knob Preserve for the Monongahela National Forest.
- Is providing conservation and ecological management expertise to private land owners and public land managers.
- Is controlling non-native, invasive weeds at Pike Knob.
- Is studying the historic and ecological roles of fire at Panther and Pike Knobs.
- Is classifying the ridgetop plant communities and determining their fire histories.
- Is treating hemlock on private lands under conservation easement adjacent to Panther Knob.
- Is adding more protected buffer lands around Panther Knob through Forest Legacy 'working forest' easements with private landowner partners and the Division of Forestry.
- Is supporting the expansion of the red pine forest by allowing seedlings that are coming up in meadow to grow into a young red pine forest – restoring forest to some areas historically cleared for cattle grazing.