Restoring the forest

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A Crowning Achievement

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ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA - The Nature Conservancy completed a major restoration project in the high-elevation forest of West Virginia's Randolph County this month, planting 34,000 red spruce trees in land that is now part of the Monongahela National Forest.


Cub Scout Pack 81 Spruce Planting

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Cub Scout Pack 81

Cub Pack 81 from Kingwood, WV joined 100 or so other folks to plant 5,000 red spruce trees at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge on April 20 & 21. Joining them to celebrate Earth Day were students from West Virginia University and Davis & Elkins College.

Landscape Scale Conservation News

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The USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region has featured the work of CASRI, and the Monongahela National Forest, as a "Model Landscape Scale Project" in the January 2013, Volume 2, Issue 1, Landscape Scale Conservation News. "One of the most exciting things all of the members of CASRI bring to the table (and the woods) is a deep interest in the values and intricacies of high elevation ecosystems.


Initiative Heals Rare Forest and Recovers Squirrel

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In a 1925 article in the Scientific Monthly titled "The Vanishing Spruce," referred to the high elevation red spruce (Picea rubens) as a "lost tribe." The lost tribe of red spruce the authors were referring to found refuge in the high elevations in the central Appalachian region during a warming period that took place after the Wisconsin glaciation—part of the last Ice Age, which ended approximately 10,000 years ago. Historically, red spruce was common in both the peaks and valleys of the Appalachians, but as temperatures climbed, the species was forced to retreat north towards New England and southeastern Canada, and to islands of suitable habitat in the high elevation areas of the central Appalachians.

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At risk wild, W.Va. fir flourishes farm-raised

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A rare West Virginia fir variety that is thriving on Christmas tree farms across the nation is fighting for survival on its home turf in the state's northeastern highlands.

The Canaan fir, also known as the West Virginia balsam fir, is a distinct variety of the northern balsam fir. The compact, symmetrical evergreens with soft, aromatic needles and trunks bearing nodules of sap were known as blister pines to settlers in the five scattered pockets where the firs naturally grow.


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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 :

Julie Fosbender

Partnership coordinator

US Forest Service

Monongahela National Forest

P: 304-636-1800

f: 304-637-0582