Restoring West Virginia’s “Magnificent” Spruce Forests

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Government agencies, nonprofits, businesses and individuals are all working to bring back West Virginia’s “magnificent” spruce forests. Evan Burks coordinates the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative for the Monongahela National Forest. Burks said the spruce forests are high-elevation remnants of the last ice age, almost lost in the logging that stripped much of the state in the early 20th century.

Restoring them is important, in part, because they create a cool-climate refuge for hundreds of rare species, Burks explained.