Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI)
The Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI) is a partnership of diverse interests with a common goal of restoring historic red spruce-northern hardwood ecosystems across the high elevation landscapes of Central Appalachia. It is comprised of private, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations which recognize the importance of this ecosystem for its ecological, aesthetic, recreational, economic, and cultural values.
Red spruce and red spruce-northern hard-wood forests once dominated the highest elevations of West Virginia, covering more than 500,000 acres. Extensive logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s reduced much of the mature forest in the Appalachians, including the red spruce-dominated stands. Today only about 29,600 acres of high elevation red spruce forests remain in the State.
2014 Year-End Report
2014 proved to be another extremely productive and fruitful year for CASRI:
Over $896,000 for land conservation purchases and on-the-ground restoration projects in 2014, totaling $2,984,141 raised to date.
Over 750 acres of high-elevation lands placed on a trajectory to develop into functioning red spruce ecosystems, bringing our restoration total to nearly 2,250 acres.
58,000 red spruce seedlings and 39,575 native plants were planted upon high priority conservation and restoration sites.
Volunteers dedicated 461.5 hours of their time working to restore red spruce.
Over 600 acres of non-native invasive species were treated in high-elevation red spruce systems.
The monitoring subcommittee developed and finalized a rapid assessment monitoring datasheet, protocol, and Access database for red spruce plantings and sites for use in future monitoring.