Restoring the forest

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Home: CASRI’s Kenyan Intern Says Thanks

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mart-kabochiI'm back home now, in Nairobi, Kenya, immersed in University classes and focused on the upcoming exams. As I reflect on my Internship with the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI), I realize that things have changed; I'm viewing life through a different lens than I was before. I'll never be able to thank all the people who contributed to my 5-month Internship, but I would like to mention a few of them. Neither will I be able to articulate all the wonders I experienced, but I would like to share a few, in retrospect, about my time spent in the United States of America.


Spruce plantings and invasive species removal help revitalize iconic landscapes in West Virginia.

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"If you drink water from the Potomac, or visit Dolly Sods to go hikng, then West Virginia is your backyard." - Thomas Minney, executive director, The nature Conservancy in West Virginia

Home to 240 rare plant and animal species, red spruce forests once covered the rocky peks of West Virginia's high country but were decimated by logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

"Today, only about 55,000 of the original 1.3 million acres  of spruce remain, " says Mike Powell, land conservation practitioner for the Conservacy in West Virginia.

Returning this forest type to its rightful place in the landscape is just one way the Conservancy is working to restore vitality to lands and waters in West Virginia and beyond.

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West Virginia seed Source , Red Spruce and Balsam Fir Seedlings.

The west Virginia Highlands Conservancy organizes volunteers to collect seeds from native plant species. We contract with commercial growers to grow seedlings for ecosystem restoration projects in the highlands. When we have surplus of plants, we make them available to the public.

We currently have a limited number of Red Spruce and canaan valley balsam Flir trees available for spring 2016. these are high quality seedlings grown from the seeds we collect locally. all proceeds go to support red spruce ecosysytem restorations efforts in west virginia.

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Branching Out - The US Forest Service International Visitor Program

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The US Forest Service International Visitor Program facilitates participation in a wide variety of professional and educational exchanges, which encourage scien­tific collaboration and discovery, increase intercultural understanding, and promote cooperation among people of many cultures and countries.


Visitor Spotlight – Martin Kabochi, Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative


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Canaan Refuge Tour

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The West Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy's, Mike Powell, takes WCHS TV 8 on a video tour of red spruce and balsam fir forests of Canaan Valley.

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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