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Community Manages a Private Landscape for Healthier, More Resilient Forest

Rolling Ridge has 1,400 acres of forests, dotted with streams, ponds and waterfalls. Photo courtesy of Linda DeGraf.
Rolling Ridge is many things. A spiritual sanctuary. A haven for hikers, mountain bikers, birdwatchers and campers. A learning ground for kids and adults to connect with nature via community programs and naturalist classes. And a residence for the five families that call the 1,400-acre property just south of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia home.

The privately-owned landscape consisting of aged-mixed hardwoods dotted with streams and ponds, sits amidst prime territory – buttressed by the iconic Appalachian Trail on one side and the majestic Shenandoah River on the other.

“It is just beautiful,” said Linda… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: May 17, 2017

Life After Coal: Appalachian Wildlife Center

Future site of Appalachian Wildlife Center in Bell County, KY.
The people of Appalachia have been forced to imagine life after coal. Wildlife biologist David Ledford found that it isn't all bad.

While working on wildlife restoration, Ledford discovered stunning views and a paradise for bird watchers at former coal mining sites in Bell County, Kentucky. He and his business partner, Frank Allen, came up with the idea to use the reclaimed lands as an educational wildlife center to teach students about coal, nature, and wildlife.

"There's some value here from a wildlife habitat perspective. It's a value that a lot of people don't… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: May 09, 2017

Caring for the Land and Serving People through Agroforestry

Children play at the demonstration food forest and connect with nature. (Photo credit: Catherine Bukowski, Virginia Tech)
People become interested in agroforestry for a wide range of reasons including improving water quality, enhancing wildlife habitat, reducing soil erosion, and increasing crop and livestock production.

Agroforestry, the intentional combination of trees with crops or livestock, is designed to support landowners’ conservation and production goals. Through U.S. Forest Service, state agency, and other technical assistance providers who work with landowners, the National Agroforestry Center works with partners to care for the land and serve people.

Agroforestry can take a lot of different forms. In Pennsylvania, private landowner Denny Colwell, is growing… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: May 01, 2017

DEC Announces $1.8 Million in Land Trust Grants

Conservation Partnership Grants Awarded to 58 Land Trusts across New York State; Grants to Land Trusts Leverage Additional $1.5 Million in Community Contributions and Private Support

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced $1.8 million in Conservation Partnership Program grants for 58 nonprofit land trusts across the state. The grants, funded through New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will leverage an additional $1.5 million in private and local funding to support projects that will protect farmland, wildlife habitat, and water quality, enhance public access for outdoor recreation, and conserve priority open space… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: May 01, 2017

Secretary Zinke Announces Boost to Wetland, Waterfowl Conservation

$38.8 million approved for wetland conservation projects; $7.8 million to conserve 2,629 acres on national wildlife refuges and open thousands of additional acres to public hunting

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, today approved $17.8 million in grants for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to conserve or restore more than 108,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 14 states throughout the United States. Representing Secretary Zinke at the meeting was Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior James… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: May 01, 2017

Beneficial Prescribed Burns Continue Across North Carolina

Prescribed fire is one of the most cost effective tools for wildlife management.
In an effort to improve wildlife habitat in N.C., the Wildlife Resources Commission continues to conduct prescribed burns on game lands across the state. Prescribed burns, also known as controlled burns, are one of the most beneficial and cost-effective methods for managing and improving habitat for wildlife. This simple and effective management tool helps the Commission restore and maintain wildlife habitat on nearly 2 million acres of game lands.

Many of North Carolina’s declining or rare wildlife species like the Red-cockaded woodpecker and the Bachman’s sparrow are adapted to fire or can only survive in fire-assisted habitat.… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: April 13, 2017

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