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Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI)

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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.

2013 Year-End Report

CASRI’s success continues as 2013 proved to be an extremely productive and fruitful year:

  • Over 1.2 million dollars for land conservation purchases and on-the-ground restoration projects in 2013, totaling $2,088,141 raised to date.

  • Over 570 acres of high-elevation lands placed on a trajectory to develop into functioning red spruce ecosystems, bringing our restoration total to nearly 1,500 acres.

  • 62,780 red spruce seedlings and 9,331 native plants were planted upon high priority conservation and restoration sites.

  • Volunteers dedicated 822 hours of their time working to restore red spruce.

  • Over 250 acres of non-native invasive species were treated in high-elevation red spruce systems.

  • Over 89,000 acres of land across the Monongahela National Forest were updated for soil survey and ecological site inventory.

Read the full 2013 Accomplishments Report [.pdf]
Read a one page summary of the 2013 Accomplishments [.pdf]

 

Red Spruce seedlings Available for Spring 2015

CASRI partner, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, organizes volunteers to collect seeds from local trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants associated with the red spruce ecosystem. It contracts with various nurseries to have seedlings produced for use in restoration and reclamation projects. When there is a surplus, they are made available to the public.

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Spruce and Soil Organic Carbon

Through a partnership between the Monongahela National Forest and West Virginia University called the West Virginia Restoration Venture, two white papers, a “technical” and a “general” version, have been finalized.  They both describe the influence of red spruce forest on organic soil carbon.  Slides excerpted from a fascinating webinar by Dominick DellaSala on 26 Feb 2014, showing the Mon Forest as #11 in the nation in terms of carbon storage.

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Flying High!

Scientists work to protect a flying squirrel and its red spruce home.

The new April/May issue of Nature Conservancy magazine has a 10-page feature spread on the West Virginia northern flying squirrel and red spruce forest restoration being done by CASRI!

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Who are we?

This website has been established and is being managed by the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy to support the work of the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI).

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 who share a recognition of the importance of this ecosystem.

Contact Us

For more information, and volunteer opportunities, please contact Cindy Sandeno:

Cindy Sandeno
304-636-1800 ext. 194
cmsandeno@fs.fed.us

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