The Nature Conservancy
in West Virginia

Bear Rocks Restoration

The Nature Conservancy recently completed restoration work at its Bear Rocks Preserve. © Kent Mason

Part of the landscape was damaged in 1999, when a strip of land was bulldozed in an effort to stop a wildfire. The Conservancy did not own the land at this time. This cleared strip of land, called a fire break, had developed into a ditch that scientists feared could carry water and sediments into a nearby globally rare cranberry bog. © TNC

The solution? Restore the area’s natural hydrology. First, the Conservancy placed into the ditch fiber logs made from coconut. These logs were used to slow the flow of water to prevent further erosion. © TNC

Next, the Conservancy placed large boulders into the ditch, where they would have been located prior to the creation of the fire break. © TNC

After the boulders were in place, soil was then packed into the ditch. © TNC

Finally, native plants such as red chokeberry were transplanted into the freshly laid soil. © TNC

Scientists must now monitor the restoration work to ensure no further erosion takes place. © TNC

The Conservancy invites you to get out and explore this amazing landscape. Learn more at! © Kent Mason