West Virginia

2017 Conservation Success

With your support, we are working toward a future where people and nature thrive in West Virginia. Here's a look at what you helped us accomplish this year. 

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Protected 217 Acres Near Panther Knob Preserve

Our conservation team worked with the Pendleton County Farmland Authority to protect 217 acres near The Nature Conservancy’s high-elevation Panther Knob Preserve. This piece of land adds to nearly 2,500 acres of existing conservation land in the area and covers priorities such as a tributary to the South Branch of the Potomac River and caves that contain species with only four known occurrences around the world. The Conservancy has collaborated with landowners for more than two decades to protect this spectacular landscape.

Transferred 1,500 Acres to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources

The last 1,500 acres of the 3,800-acre Cheat Canyon landscape have been transferred to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources this year. Since Cheat Canyon’s original protection in 2014, the landscape has been made accessible to the public, 330 miles of the Allegheny Trail have been reopened and the Conservancy has established the 1,300-acre Charlotte Ryde Nature Preserve.

Helped Permanently Protect a Critical Piece of Land Adjacent to Smoke Hole 

The Nature Conservancy and West Virginia Division of Forestry established an easement—a tool that allows a landowner to protect a property’s natural resources in perpetuity—on a key section of privately owned land within the Monongahela National Forest. This easement will be added to the DOF’s adjacent 300-acre Smoke Hole conservation easement and marks a successful step forward in a multi-decade effort to protect nearly 2,000 acres of some of West Virginia’s most stunning and ecologically important land.

Leveraged Protection and Restoration of 556 Acres of Habitat

We are continuing to leverage long-term conservation in the Sinks of Gandy by helping to coordinate habitat protection and restoration on an additional 556 acres. Once restoration of these nearly 1,000 acres in the Sinks of Gandy is complete, the land will be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service so that it is protected as a part of West Virginia’s captivating scenery and rich biological diversity for years to come.

Planted 25,000 Red Spruce Trees

As part of our forest restoration work across West Virginia, we've treated 1,300 acres for invasive species; helped red spruce seedlings on 600 acres become exposed to sunlight in a process called spruce release; and planted 25,500 red spruce trees.

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