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Restoring a Spruce Forest

Home to 240 rare plant and animal species, red spruce forests once covered the rocky peaks 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 nearly 1,000,000 acres of spruce remain,” says Mike Powell, director of lands for The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia.

Each year, TNC leads or assists restoration plantings of over a hundred thousand trees, in addition to other landscape efforts to restore red spruce throughout its historic range. In addition, TNC employees, contractors and Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI) partners continue to plant red spruce seedlings and treat thousands of acres for non-native invasive species.

Read more about continued restoration work.